GREENWOOD, IN – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s women’s tennis team has been selected as the front runner to win the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. In a poll of the nine HCAC head coaches, the Engineers received a total of 75 points and four first place votes.
Transylvania University placed second in the poll with 70 points and two first place votes, while defending champion Franklin College is picked to finish third in the conference standings with 61 points and two first place votes. Hanover College (56 points, one 1st place vote), Anderson University (47), Manchester University (41), Earlham College (28), Defiance College (17), and College of Mount St. Joseph (10) round out the poll.
The Engineers are coming off an 11-6 season and 7-1 conference record in 2012, finishing second in the league standings. Rose fell to Franklin in the HCAC tournament final 5-3.
Coach Dan Hopkins returns two First-Team All-HCAC selections to the Engineers’ lineup this fall. Senior Marie Stettler (Edgerton, Wis./Senior) notched a 6-2 record at No. 1 singles, while adding a 4-4 mark at No. 1 doubles. Senior Paige Cook (Terre Haute, Ind./North) finished 6-2 at No. 3 and 4 singles and was a perfect 8-0 in doubles action. RHIT also returns two players that earned Honorable Mention All-HCAC honors last season as Kylie McCollum (Lee’s Summit, Mo./West) and Lauren Miller (Highland, Ill./H.S.) strive to improve to first-team accolades this fall.
Transylvania University will look to challenge the Engineers for the HCAC crown and earn the school’s third women’s tennis title. The Pioneers finished third in the HCAC standings last fall with a 6-2 mark in league play. Transy returns one First-Team All-HCAC selection from a year ago. Sophomore Claire Mielcarek (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) earned HCAC MVP honors as a freshman, completing her rookie season with an overall HCAC dual match record of 16-0 at No. 1 singles and doubles.
Franklin College earned the school’s fourth HCAC women’s tennis title last season, finishing 8-0 in league play. The Grizzlies return a pair of First-Team All-HCAC members to the court this fall. Sophomore Melissa Sanders (Columbus, Ind./North) finished 7-0 at No. 2 singles and 6-1 at No. 2 doubles in league play a year ago, while junior Bethany Harris (Avon, Ind./H.S.) finished 5-2 at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. The Grizzlies ended the season with a 5-0 loss to Coe College in the NCAA tournament.
The 2013 women’s tennis season is set to begin on September 4.
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