Indianapolis – A stirring autumn run for the Transylvania women's tennis team came to an end on Sunday afternoon as the Pioneers fell 5-0 to the Hanover College Panthers in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship match.
Returning to the championship round of the HCAC tournament for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, the Pioneers harbored hopes of a conference tournament title by taking on Hanover, a team which had beaten Transy 8-1 in the regular season and carried an undefeated record into the championship bout.
Hanover got the upper hand in the match as its pair of Meghan Farrell and Susie Winternheimer defeated Transylvania freshmen Porsche Robinson and Jessica Burton in No. 1 doubles, 8-0. The Panthers picked up steam with an 8-3 win in No. 3 doubles.
High drama ensued in the No. 2 doubles match as freshman Alyssa Igyarto and senior Kearstin Bruther dueled with Hanover's Cami Jones and Haley Parker for a crucial point. Both sides battled to a 7-7 tie before Hanover pulled off a 9-7 victory, sealing a 3-0 lead heading into singles play.
The Panthers prevailed as they collected wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles first to end the afternoon. Addision Laker defeated Igyarto 6-1, 6-3 in No. 5 singles while Mia Katzenberger picked up a 6-0, 6-1 over sophomore Regan Jobe to collect the championship.
While Sunday did not present the result the Pioneers sought, the HCAC match capped off a promising HCAC regular season for the Pioneers, who completed a regular season in second place and advanced to its first championship match in seven years. It marked the latest rapid step in the program's resurgence under third-year head coach Kevin Calhoun after finishing in sixth-place two seasons ago.
Transylvania will resume its season in the spring with a series of nonconference matchups, beginning with a February 16, 2019 match against the Sewanee Tigers at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
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