INDIANAPOLIS – The Hanover women's tennis team opened Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament play Saturday afternoon, defeating Rose-Hulman at West Indy Racquet Club, 5-2.
The Panthers' win improves them to 11-0 on the season, tying the program record for best start to a single season. Hanover also secured its seventh straight HCAC Tournament Finals appearance and will be looking for championship No. 5 on Sunday.
The Blue and Red cruised to a trio of victories in doubles play to secure a 3-0 lead over the Fightin' Engineers (5-8). The first to finish in doubles competition were senior Ruth Gaston (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Lizzy Katzenberger (Crawfordsville, Ind.), as the duo took the No. 3 match, 8-1.
Picking up an 8-2 win at No. 2 were junior Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind.) and sophomore Haley Parker (Leo, Ind.). Following with the third team point were senior Susie Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind.), who took the top spot by a score of 8-3.
After dropping the first two singles matches to finish, Jones gave HC its fourth team point with a straight-set 7-5, 6-4 win in the No. 1 slot. Securing the overall victory was Gaston, who won at No. 4 in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
The Panthers will now face the No. 2 seed, Transylvania, at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 21, with an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament on the line. Hanover defeated the Pioneers on the road during the regular season, 8-1. Transylvania advanced to Sunday's match with a 5-3 win over the third seed, Franklin.
Contact Tyler Jester