INDIANAPOLIS – For the fifth time in six years, the Hanover women's tennis team is the undisputed champion of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, as the Panthers defeated Transylvania in the league's tournament finals Sunday, 5-0.
Hanover finishes the fall 12-0, giving them the best singles season start in program history. Sunday's win also earned the Blue and Red the HCAC's automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III National Tournament, which will take place in the spring of 2019.
The Panthers got off to a strong start against the Pioneers (7-6), earning two quick points in doubles play. Senior Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) earned an 8-0 decision at No. 1 doubles to give HC its first point. Following the No. 3 slot were senior Ruth Gaston (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Lizzy Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.), who won 8-3.
Giving Hanover a commanding 3-0 lead heading into singles play were junior Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) and sophomore Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.). Jones and Parker trailed 6-5 in the No. 2 doubles match before rallying to win 9-7.
The first to win in singles competition was sophomore Mia Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.). The sophomore won in the No. 6 spot in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. Katzenberger's win improved her to 10-0 this fall and 17-0 in her collegiate career.
Securing the championship for the Panthers was sophomore Addison Laker (Indianapolis, Ind.), who won the No. 5 singles match by a count of 6-1, 6-3. Laker's win makes it two straight seasons that a Panther from the Class of 2021 has secured the conference tournament championship. Parker earned the match-winning point in 2017.
For the second consecutive year Jones was named the HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Jones was a combined 3-0 at West Indy Racquet Club this weekend, picking up two doubles victories and a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 1 singles against Rose-Hulman in the semifinals.
The Panthers have now concluded their slate for the calendar year of 2018. Hanover will begin its preparations for the NCAA Division III National Tournament by opening its spring schedule in Chattanooga, Tenn. against Covenant (Ga.) on Friday, Feb. 15.
Contact: Tyler Jester