GREENWOOD, Ind. – Hanover College's women's tennis team has been selected as the front runner to win the 2016 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. In a poll of the nine HCAC head coaches, the Panthers received a total of 79 points and seven first place votes.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology placed second in the poll with 66 points and two first place votes, while Franklin College is picked to finish third in the conference standings with 65 points. Anderson University (55 points), Manchester University (45), Transylvania University (40), Defiance College (22), Mount St. Joseph University (21), and Earlham College (12) round out the poll.
The Panthers are coming off a 15-4 season and 8-0 conference record in 2015, claiming the school's seventh conference title. Hanover beat Franklin 5-4 to earn their third straight HCAC tournament crown.
Head coach Ryan Miller returns three first-team All-HCAC selections to the Panthers' lineup this fall. Senior Mackenzie Spicer (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central) notched a 7-1 record at No. 1 singles, while adding a 5-2 mark at No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Susan Winternheimer (Attica, Ind./H.S.) also earned a first-team selection after posting a 3-2 record at No. 2 singles and a 7-0 mark at No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Tori Schwartz ( / ) also posted a 5-2 mark at No. 1 doubles, while adding a perfect 8-0 record in singles play last season.
Rose-Hulman will look to challenge the Panthers for the HCAC crown and earn the school's third women's tennis title. The Engineers finished fourth in the HCAC standings last fall with a 5-3 mark in league play. RHIT returns one first-team All-HCAC selections from a year ago. Junior Bella Evans (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Tesoro) earned first-team honors after finishing 6-2 at No. 1 singles and 3-5 at No. 1 doubles during her sophomore season.
Franklin College finished second in the HCAC standings, finishing 7-1 in league play. The Grizzlies return one first-team All-HCAC member to the court this fall. Sophomore Karen Dringenburg (Seymour, Ind. / Seymour) finished 7-0 at No. 3 singles and 8-0 at No. 1 doubles in league play, which earned her HCAC Freshman of the Year honors for her rookie season.
The 2016 women's tennis season is set to begin on September 3.
Players to Watch
|Anderson||Abby Kirkman||Sophomore||Martinsville, Ind. / Martinsville|
|Katie Kirkman||Senior||Martinsville, Ind. / Martinsville|
|Hannah Libler||Sophomore||Alexandria, Ind. / Alexandria|
|Defiance||Hannah Hesterman||Sophomore||Archbold, Ohio / Archbold|
|Danielle Vance||Sophomore||Defiance, Ohio / Defiance|
|Earlham||Arrita Domi||Junior||Gjakove, Kosovo / International|
|Lexi Aligarbes||Junior||Farmington, N.M. / Farmington|
|Rachel Riggs||Junior||Logan, Ohio / Logan|
|Franklin||Karen Dringenburg||Sophomore||Seymour, Ind. / Seymour|
|Rachel Rose||Sophomore||Springsboro, Ohio / Springsboro|
|Hanover||Mackenzie Spicer||Senior||Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central|
|Mallory Noble||Senior||Fishers, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern|
|Kelly Gehlbach||Senior||Wilmington, Ohio / Wilmington|
|Manchester||Erin Cordill||Junior||Zionsville, Ind. / Zionsville|
|Katie Peden||Junior||North Manchester, Ind. / Manchester|
|Katy Ashpole||Junior||Leesburg, Ind. / Wawasee|
|MSJ||Morgan Hoehn||Senior||Cincinnati, Ohio / Colerain|
|Kristina Staley||Junior||Cincinnati, Ohio / Mercy|
|Rose-Hulman||Bella Evans||Junior||Mission Viejo, Calif. / Tesoro|
|Lauren Edwards||Senior||Franklin, Ind. / Franklin Community|
|Linde Schaffer||Sophomore||Inver Grove Heights, Minn. / Eagan|
|Sydney Short||Senior||Langley, Va. / Grafton|
|Becca Stanley||Senior||New Whiteland, Ind. / Whiteland|
|Transylvania||Lilian Williams||Junior||Frankfort, Ky. / Franklin Co.|
|Madison Miles||Sophomore||Prospect, Ky. / Louisville Collegiate|
|Myriah Porter||Junior||Catlettsburg, Ky. / Boyd Co.|