HANOVER, Ind. – A Senior Day celebration this weekend headlines two matches in three days for the Hanover College women's tennis team.
SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers (12-4) will open the slate with an exhibition contest against NCAA Division II Bellarmine (Ky.) at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 23. Hanover then hosts Wittenberg (Ohio) at 4 p.m., Monday, March 25. Both outings will be held at the Zeddies Tennis Center.
SENIOR DAY CELEBRATION: Seniors Ruth Gaston (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.) will be honored during Saturday's match against Bellarmine. The duo has helped Hanover compile a 59-21 overall record over the past four seasons, including an unblemished 31-0 mark in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. In the past four years, the Panthers have won four HCAC regular season titles, three HCAC Tournament championships and will be making their third NCAA Division III National Tournament appearance this spring.
Winternheimer has compiled a 38-32 singles record during her career at Hanover, which is tied for the most wins of any player on the current roster. Gaston has posted a 21-7 singles mark, a .750 win percentage, ranking second highest on the team. Gaston is also tied for the team-high in singles victories this season, producing an 11-2 record.
- The Panthers are coming off an exhibition against NCAA Division I Butler last weekend. Winternheimer and junior Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.) highlighted play with a 6-4 decision at No. 1 doubles.
- Hanover won its sixth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship back in the fall, running its current HCAC winning streak to 48 consecutive matches. The Panthers also won their fifth HCAC Tournament title in six years to secure the league's automatic bid into this spring's national tournament.
- The Blue and Red got off to a historic start in the fall, winning their first 12 matches, a new program record. During the stretch, HC conceded two or fewer team points in 10 matches, including seven shutouts.
- Hanover has a .750 winning percentage in doubles competition this season, producing a 36-12 overall record. Gaston, along with juniors Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) and Lizzy Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.) have all won double-digit doubles matches this season. The combination of Gaston and Katzenberger are 8-2 this season, while Jones and sophomore Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.) are 8-4 when paired together.
- The Panthers also have a singles winning percentage above .700, taking 64 of 89 matches. Gaston and Jones, as well as sophomore Mia Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.) are currently tied for the team high with 11 wins, competing mainly in the Nos. 4-5, No. 1 and Nos. 5-6 spots, respectively. Sophomore Addison Laker (Indianapolis, Ind.) has an 8-3 singles record, and Jones and Winternheimer are tied for the most career singles victories at Hanover with 38.
SCOUTING BELLARMINE: The Knights are off to an 8-3 start this season, despite entering a home match Friday with Indiana Wesleyan on a two-match losing streak. Bellarmine has experienced its best two seasons, in terms of wins, the past two years, compiling records of 21-4 and 18-5 in 2017-18 and 2016-17, respectively. Last season's effort resulted in the program's second-ever NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance. Hanover and Bellarmine have met in the fall of the past two seasons, both of which have been 9-0 decisions in favor of the Knights.
SCOUTING WITTENBERG: The Tigers are currently 5-3 and will travel to face Trine (Ind.) before coming to Hanover on Monday. Wittenberg has lost three of its last four, including a 5-4 setback to Ohio Wesleyan in its most recent outing. Hanover holds a 2-1 edge in the all-time series, including 7-2 and 6-3 wins in the past two seasons.
UP NEXT: The Panthers are set to close out the 2018-19 regular season with a road match at Oakland City (Ind.) at noon, Saturday, April 6.
Contact: Tyler Jester