Indianapolis – The Transylvania men's tennis team continued their ascent through the 2016 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with an upset of No. 2 Earlham, defeating the Quakers 5-2 on Saturday at the West Indy Racquet Club.
Having swiftly closed out the sixth-seeded Manchester Spartans in five straight games just the day before in the first round of the HCAC tournament, the Pioneers continued their momentum into their second day of action.
Facing the Quakers for the first time since suffering a 7-2 defeat in Earlham, Indiana back on April 17, the Pioneers made a different match of it this time, setting the tone with a pair of notable victories in doubles.
Seniors Zachary Meikle and Luke Groene played seamlessly as they took care of Adarsh Singh and Nicola Manni with an 8-4 pro-set victory, evening the match at 1-1. In the #3 doubles match, Joshua Buckman and Sam Hodgson dominated Adam Schwartz and Naraj Parajuli with an 8-0 victory to carry a significant 2-1 lead into singles battle.
Needing three more points to stamp their ticket to the HCAC championship match, the Pioneers went for it all; Meikle won against Singh for the second time on Saturday, capturing a #2 singles match 6-2, 7-5 for point number three of the day. While Albrecht fell against Stadnyk, 6-2, 6-1, Buckman collected a key match win against Schwartz in #4 singles, taking a 7-5, 6-1 match win.
Finally, the Pioneers made their championship match entry a reality as Reza Haider won over Parajuli, 6-1, 6-0 to collect Transylvania's fifth win of the day, ceasing the rest of the match.
By clinching the victory, the Pioneers mark their return to the final round of the HCAC tournament for the first time in two years, when they fell to Earlham 5-1. This year, the Pioneers face Rose-Hulman, the defending tournament champions for the automatic bid to the NCAA tennis tournament.
The championship is scheduled for a 10 a.m. Sunday start at the West Indy Racquet Club.