Release courtesy of Rose-Hulman Athletics
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's tennis team is headed to St. Louis for the NCAA Division III Tournament starting on Thursday.
Rose-Hulman will square off against Illinois Tech in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament held at Washington University (Mo.). The Fightin' Engineers are ranked No. 18 in the ITA Central Region, while Illinois Tech is ranked No. 19. The match will be played Thursday at a time to be announced later.
Rose-Hulman won its fifth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship on Sunday, defeating Earlham College 5-2 in the title match. The Fightin' Engineers enter the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 13-9 overall record and a school record 12-match winning streak.
Illinois Tech has a record of 18-9 overall and won the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament Championship. The Scarlet Hawks are making their first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in any sport with this year's men's tennis squad.
The winner of Rose-Hulman vs. Illinois Tech will face Washington (Mo.) on Friday in the NCAA Round of 32.
Rose-Hulman head coach Dan Hopkins will cap his 31-year career as Fightin' Engineer men's tennis head coach at the conclusion of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Hopkins enters the NCAA Tournament with a men's career record of 312-276. He has also served as women's head coach for 18 years with a record of 159-138. His overall Rose-Hulman tennis coaching record between the two teams stands at 471-414 in 49 total seasons of service.
The Fightin' Engineers make their fifth NCAA Tournament program history and will seek the program's second NCAA win during their first match. Rose-Hulman defeated Wheaton (Ill.) 5-4 in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament for the first men's or women's NCAA Tournament win in program history.
The current team is led by two statistically noteworthy performers. Ian Landwehr holds the No. 1 singles spot after earning HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Landwehr stands 39-7 in his two-year singles career and is currently ranked #14 in the latest ITA Central Region rankings. Andre Adam holds Rose-Hulman's career record for singles wins and holds the No. 2 position. Adam has won 71 career singles matches, including 16 this season.
Austin Perry stands as Rose-Hulman's No. 3 singles player with a career record of 40-38, including 11 wins this season. Joseph Conrad has won nine singles matches as a freshman at the No. 4 spot, with Josh Giambattista adding 14 wins and playing at the No. 5 spot. Grant Stamper has added 10 singles wins, including nine consecutive match wins, and currently holds the No. 6 singles spot.
The doubles teams of Adam and Giambattista; Landwehr and Perry; and Conrad and Ben Strate played a key role in the HCAC Tournament wins. Rose-Hulman finished 5-1 in doubles play, with Conrad and Strate picking up a tiebreak win in the HCAC championship match. Adam and Jacob Pluta will cap their careers with four trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Rose-Hulman completes the 2018-19 season with a 47-match winning streak against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference competition. The Fightin' Engineers have not lost a match against HCAC opponents since May 2014.
The full schedule for this weekend's NCAA Division III Tournament action is below.
Match 2: Wisconsin-Whitewater (15-7) vs. Principia (14-6), TBA