GREENWOOD, Ind. – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's women's tennis team has been selected as the front runner to win the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. In a poll of the eight HCAC head coaches, the Fightin' Engineers received a total of 77 points and five first place votes.
Hanover College placed second in the poll with 75 points and three first place votes, while Franklin College is picked to finish third in the conference standings with 63 points. Manchester University (53 points), Transylvania University (50), Mount St. Joseph University (40), Defiance College (34), and Earlham College (24) round out the poll.
The Fightin' Engineers are coming off a 14-4 season and 7-1 conference record in 2016. Rose-Hulman beat Hanover 5-4 to earn their second HCAC tournament crown.
Head coach Dan Hopkins returns three first-team All-HCAC selections to the Engineers' lineup this fall. Senior Bella Evans (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Tesoro) notched a 9-0 record at No. 2 singles, while adding a 5-4 mark at No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Naomi Bhagat (Waukesha, Wis. / New Berlin West) also earned a first-team selection after posting a 8-1 record at No. 3 singles and a 5-3 mark at No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Anna Thompson (Anderson, S.C. / Christ Church Episcopal) also posted a 6-3 mark at No. 1 singles, while adding a 5-3 record in doubles play last season.
Hanover College will look to challenge the Engineers for the HCAC crown and earn the school's eighth women's tennis title. The Panthers finished first in the HCAC standings last fall with a perfect 8-0 mark in league play. Hanover returns three first-team All-HCAC selections from a year ago. Junior Susan Winternheimer (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) earned first-team honors after finishing 7-1 in league singles matches and 8-0 at No. 2 doubles during her sophomore season. Sophomore Meghan Farrell (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral) and Cami Jones (Richmond, Ind. / Richmond) were also first-team selections last fall. Farrell went went 6-1 in No. 1 doubles last season as a freshman, and Jones went 7-1 in singles play during the conference season.
Franklin College finished third in the HCAC standings, finishing 5-3 in league play. The Grizzlies return two first-team All-HCAC member to the court this fall. Junior Karen Dringenburg (Seymour, Ind. / Seymour) finished 5-3 at No. 1 singles and 7-1 at No. 1 doubles in league play. Joining Dringenburg as a first-team selection is junior Rachel Rose (Springboro, Ohio / Springboro). Rose finished 5-3 in league play at No. 2 singles and 7-1 at No. 1 doubles.
The 2017 women's tennis season is set to begin on August 31.
Players to Watch
|Defiance||Hannah Hesterman||Junior||Archbold, Ohio / Archbold|
|Courtney Alexander||Senior||Bristolville, Ohio / Bristol|
|Alicia Jean||Freshman||Bryan, Ohio / Bryan|
|Earlham||Arrita Domi||Senior||Gjakove, Kosovo / International|
|Lexi Aligarbes||Senior||Farmington, N.M. / Farmington|
|Kaitlin Morgan||Senior||Richmond, Ind. / Richmond|
|Franklin||Karen Dringenburg||Junior||Seymour, Ind. / Seymour|
|Holyn Eldridge||Junior||Goshen, Ind. / Concord|
|Rachel Rose||Junior||Springsboro, Ohio / Springsboro|
|Hanover||Susie Winternheimer||Junior||Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard|
|Meghan Farrell||Sophomore||Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral|
||Richmond, Ind. / Richmond|
|Manchester||Erin Cordill||Senior||Zionsville, Ind. / Zionsville|
|Katie Peden||Senior||North Manchester, Ind. / Manchester|
|Katy Ashpole||Senior||Leesburg, Ind. / Wawasee|
|Mariam Ali||Senior||Giza, Egypt|
||Okeana, Ohio / Badin|
||Delaware, Ohio / Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Blake Nelson||Sophomore||Cincinnati, Ohio / Amelia|
||Waukesha, Wis. / New Berlin West|
|Bella Evans||Senior||Mission Viejo, Calif. / Tesoro
|Kyla Jarvis||Sophomore||Terre Haute, Ind. / North Vigo|
|Linde Schaffer||Junior||Inner Grove Heights, Minn. / Eagan|
||Anderson, S.C. / Christ Church Episcopal|
|Transylvania||Mary Grace Amato||Senior
||Frankfort, Ky. / Franklin Co.|
||Frankfort, Ky. / Franklin Co.
|Lucy Herington||Sophomore||Louisville, Ky. / Sacred Heart|