Coaches Select Earlham to Repeat as HCAC Men’s Tennis Champs

GREENWOOD, IN – Earlham College's men's tennis team has been unanimously selected as the front runner to win the 2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. In a poll of the nine HCAC head coaches, the Quakers received a maximum total of 81 points and all nine first place votes.

Transylvania University placed second in the poll with 72 points, while Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is picked to finish third in the conference standings this fall with 59 points.  Franklin College (54 points), Hanover College (44), Manchester University (31), Defiance College (26), Anderson University (21), and College of Mount St. Joseph (17) round out the poll.

The Quakers are coming off a 19-3 season and 9-0 conference record, claiming their third straight HCAC championship. Earlham won the HCAC tournament and fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Coe, ending its season.  EC enters the 2014 conference season looking for a fourth consecutive title.

First-year head coach Chauncey Nixon returns three All-HCAC selections to the Earlham lineup this spring, including the conference MVP.  Junior Anton Bartashevich (Moscow, Russia) earned MVP honors as a sophomore and was joined on the All-HCAC squad by sophomores Phillip Locklear (Springboro, Ohio/H.S.) and Jack Ventura-Cruess (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado).  Bartashevich posted a 5-0 league record in singles action and was 6-1 in doubles.  Locklear earned Freshman of the Year honors after finishing the season 9-0 in conference singles matches and 8-0 at No. 2 doubles, while Ventura-Cruess was 13-1 in league matches. 

Transylvania will look to challenge the Quakers for the top of the HCAC standings.  The Pioneers finished second in the standings last spring with an 8-1 record and finished the season 12-8 overall.  Transy returns three All-HCAC members from a year ago.  Sophomores Robert Albrecht (Lexington, Ky./Christian) and Zach Meikle (Nicholasville, Ky./West Jessamine) and junior Dylan Conner (Jacksonville, Fla./Flagler University) will look to lead the Pioneers lineup among the league's elite this spring.  Albrecht led the Pioneers with a 4-3 mark at No. 1 singles and finished 7-2 at the top doubles position.  Conner finished 12-5 at No. 2 singles and doubles, while Meikle earned a 12-4 tally at No. 3 and 4 singles and No. 1 doubles. 

Rose-Hulman finished the 2013 season fourth in the conference standings, earning a 6-3 HCAC record. The Engineers finished the season 11-8 overall.  Rose will look to replace a pair of All-HCAC selections from a year ago.

The 2014 men's tennis season is set to begin on February 15.

Earlham College Head Coach Chauncey Nixon

2014 HCAC Men's Tennis Coaches Preseason Poll

Team Points
1. Earlham 81 (9)
2. Transylvania 72
3. Rose-Hulman 59
4. Franklin 54
5. Hanover 44
6. Manchester 31
7. Defiance 26
8. Anderson 21
9. Mount St. Joseph
17

Players to Watch

 

Anderson

Drew Lovern

Senior

Indianapolis, Ind./Covenant Christian

 
 
 

Kyle Templeton

Senior

New Palestine, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Connor Whiteside

Sophomore

Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove

 
 
 

Defiance

Cord Speelman

Senior

Bryan, Ohio/H.S.

 
 
 

Mike Ross

Senior

Bryan, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Ryan Nelson

Junior

Oregon, Ohio/Clay

 
 

James Demeo

Freshman

Oregon, Ohio/Clay

 
 
 

Earlham

Phillip Locklear

Sophomore

Springboro, Ohio/H.S.

 
 
 

Anton Bartashevich

Junior

Moscow, Russia/International

 
 

Jack Ventura-Cruess  

Sophomore

Placentia, Cali./El Dorado

 
 

Henry Levin

Senior

Dallas, Tex./Highland Park

 
 
 

Franklin

Robby Woerhrle

Junior

Avon, Ind./H.S.

 
 
 

Ryan Hammer

Junior

Greenwood, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Luke Snyder

Junior

Franklin, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Jared Hunt

Senior

Whiteland, Ind./H.S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hanover

Jordan Myers

Senior

Indianapolis, Ind./Scecina


 

Brian Clark

Junior

New Palestine, Ind./H.S.


Reid Clark

Sophomore

New Palestine, Ind./H.S.


Andy Nice

Sophomore

Salem, Ind./H.S.


 
 
 

Manchester

Kyle Lahman

Junior

N. Manchester, Ind./Manchester


 

Stratton Smith

Freshman

New Palestine, Ind./H.S.


Miro Arguijo

Senior

Corpus Christi, Tex./Northwood


Bobby Swaby

Senior

Farmersburg, Ind./North Central


 
 
 

Mt. St. Joseph

Kyle Haas

Junior

Jasper, Ind./Northeast Dubois


 

Ian Rowe

Freshman

Winchester, Ky./George Rogers Clark


Destin Lewis

Freshman

Union, Ohio/Northmont


Drew Royalty

Senior

Ashland, Ky./Paul G. Blazer


 
 
 
 

Rose-Hulman

Brandon Benedict

Freshman

Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian


 

Georges Adam

Freshman

Barueri, Brazil/Colegio Pentagono


 

Nate Moore

Senior

Scottsdale, Ariz.


 

Ray Montgomery

Junior

Terre Haute, Ind./South


 
 
 
 

Transylvania

Robert Albrecht

Sophomore

Lexington, Ky./Christian


 

Dylan Conner

Junior

Jacksonville, Fla./Flagler University


Zach Meikle

Sophomore

Nicholasville, Ky./West Jessamine


 

Patrick Richardson

Senior

Louisville, Ky./Trinity