Panthers open Florida trip with 5-4 loss to Augustana

Keith Asplund

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Hanover men's tennis team split singles competition but fell in its opening match of the Winter Break trip to Augustana (Ill.) Sunday evening, 5-4.

The Vikings (6-2) were able to gain an early match advantage after taking the top two doubles spots. Hanover (1-3) though, scored its first team point at No. 3 doubles, as freshmen Connor Garrison (Louisville, Ky.) and Pablo Gallart (Serra, Spain) won by a count of 8-6. Gallart nearly won at No. 2 singles, before falling in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 8-10.

The Panthers won the bottom two singles spots in straight sets, as junior Jonathan Helmers (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Jed Fajt (Greencastle, Ind.) each picked up victories. Helmers improved to 3-1 on the season, as he took the No. 5 match by a score of 6-1, 6-0. Fajt swept his opponent in the first set at No. 6, before earning a 6-4 decision in the second frame.

Freshman Keith Asplund (Jeffersonville, Ind.) tied Helmers for the team-high in wins this season, as he won in three sets in the third slot. Asplund dropped the opening set, 6-4, before rallying to win the second and third frames by scores of 6-3 and 10-8, respectively.

Hanover will continue its spring slate with the second of three matches at the USTA National Training Center Monday, Feb. 25. The Panthers are set to face NCAA Division II Davenport (Mich.) in a 6 p.m. exhibition match.

Contact: Tyler Jester