INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Earlham College’s men’s tennis team claimed the school’s fourth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference team championship on Sunday afternoon. The Quakers finished in first place during the regular season with a perfect 8-0 mark and claimed the tournament title at West Indy Racquet Club in Indianapolis.
Earlham posted a 5-1 win over Franklin before knocking off No. 3 seed Transylvania in the championship.
In Sunday’s championship match with Transy, the Quakers earned a 5-1 victory. Earlham jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles action and proceeded to win three singles matches to put the match away.
EC’s Anton Bartashevich (Moscow, Russia) and Jack Ventura-Cruess (Placentia, Calif.) knocked off Robert Albrecht (Lexington, Ky.) and Josh Buckman (Owensboro, Ky.) of Transylvania at No. 1 doubles 8-2. Sophomore Phillip Locklear (Springboro, Ohio) and senior Hank Levin (Dallas Tex.) teamed up for a 9-8 (7-4) comeback win at No. 2 doubles over Transy’s Dylan Conner (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Patrick Richardson (Louisville, Ky.).
In singles play, Earlham earned wins at No. 2, 4 and 5 singles to put the match out of reach. Locklear earned a win at No. 2 singles over Conner 6-0, 6-0, Ventura-Cruess beat Richardson 6-0, 6-3, and Scott Lawrence (Letchworth, England) knocked off Transy’s Stephen Mayborg (Louisville, Ky.) at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-0.
With claiming the conference title, Earlham has earned the conference’s automatic bid to play in the NCAA Division III tennis championships beginning May 9. It will be the school’s fourth appearance in the Division III NCAA tennis tournament.
Saturday, May 3
Game 1: No. 4 Defiance vs. No. 5 Franklin
Game 2: No. 3 Transylvania vs. No. 6 Anderson
Game 3: No. 1 Earlham vs. No. 5 Franklin
Game 4: No. 2 Rose-Hulman vs. No. 3 Transylvania
Sunday, May 4
No. 1 Earlham vs. No. 3 Transylvania