HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's tennis team is set to open up its spring slate this weekend with a neutral-site match against nationally-ranked Sewanee (Tenn.).
SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers and No. 12 Tigers are set to join the men's teams for a 5 p.m. contest, Saturday, Feb. 16. Competition will be held in Nicholasville, Ky. at Top Seed Tennis Club.
HEADING BACK TO NATIONALS: The Blue and Red won their fifth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in six years this past fall, securing the program another trip to the NCAA National Tournament later this spring. Hanover will prep for the national event with some top level competition, highlighted by the match with Sewanee, as well as home outings against NCAA Division I Butler (Ind.) and NCAA Division II Bellarmine (Ky.). The contest with Butler is slated as an exhibition for the Panthers.
HISTORIC START FOR HC: Hanover produced a 12-0 record during the fall, marking the program's best overall start in school history. The Panthers went 8-0 in HCAC play to win their sixth straight regular season league title, while also improving their HCAC regular season win streak to 48 matches. As mentioned above, HC also went on to earn the HCAC tournament title. In the Blue and Red's 12 wins this season, the squad has blanked seven opponents, including Transylvania in the HCAC Tournament Championship, 5-0.
JONES, LARUE HEADLINE ALL-HCAC: Junior Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) was named Player of the Year and Eric LaRue was tabbed Coach of the Year to headline the Panthers' all-conference selections. Jones was a perfect 10-0 in the top singles spot, including a 7-0 mark in HCAC play, while also going 7-0 in conference doubles action. Joining her on the first team were senior Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.), junior Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Addison Laker (Indianapolis, Ind.). Senior Ruth Gaston (Indianapolis, Ind.) and sophomore Mia Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.) were tabbed honorable mention all-HCAC as well. Gaston and Katzenberger combined to go 20-0 in singles competition this past fall, including a 15-0 record against HCAC foes.
DOUBLES DELIGHT: The Panthers have been able to use strong starts to help aid their unblemished record this season, producing a 32-4 (.889) mark in doubles play. Hanover was nearly perfect in the second and third doubles flights, going 23-1 (.958). Cami Jones and Ruth Gaston each won 10 doubles matches in the fall, while sophomore Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.) was 8-0 with Jones as her partner. Meghan Farrell and Susie Winternheimer are currently 7-3 in the top spot.
SCOUTING SEWANEE: The Tigers were recently ranked No. 12 on Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Jan. 17 national poll. Sewanee will open the season with three matches Saturday, as its lone competition of the fall came at the ITA Atlantic South Regionals. The Tigers produced a 22-5 overall record last season en route to hosting an eight-team regional during the NCAA National Tournament, the same regional Hanover competed in. Sewanee advanced to the regional finals before falling to No. 1 Emory (Ga.), 5-0, the same count HC lost by in the second round to the Eagles.
UP NEXT: The Panthers will travel to Florida for their annual Winter Break trip. Hanover is slated for three matches in three days, beginning at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, against Augustana (Ill.).
Contact: Tyler Jester