Transylvania women’s tennis upends Hanover to advance to HCAC Tournament Championship match

Merrick hitting

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania women's tennis team advanced into its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship match by knocking off the Hanover College Panthers, 5-1 in the HCAC Semifinal match on Saturday afternoon at Top Seed Tennis Club.

After cruising to a quarterfinal victory the prior evening, the No. 3 seed Pioneers upended the No. 2 seed Panthers on Saturday to move into Sunday morning's championship match versus No. 1 seed Anderson University, which defeated No. 4 seed Rose-Hulman in Saturday's other semifinal match.

The Pioneers exacted a measure of revenge in beating Hanover, which had handed the Pioneers a 6-3 match defeat back on October 10 in the teams' lone regular-season meeting of 2019. The sweet victory for the Pioneers sends Transylvania to the championship match for the second straight year as they pursue their first HCAC Tournament title since the fall of 2011, when they defeated Anderson in the championship match, 5-3.

Transylvania's win on Saturday ended Hanover's reign as tournament champions; the Panthers had entered the weekend as winners of the HCAC Tournament in six of the past seven years and defeated Transylvania in last year's championship match.

On Saturday afternoon, Transylvania staked its claim to a championship appearance with a clutch performance in all three doubles matches. Porsche Robinson and Jessica Burton took care of business in No. 1 doubles, defeating Cami Jones and Meghan Farrell, 8-4. Merrick Irwin and Sheila Cetina grappled with Maddie Shannon and Lizzy Katzenberger at No. 2 doubles before pulling out an 8-6 win. The Pioneers took firm control of the match when Alyssa Igyarto and Christina Duvall teamed up for an 8-6 victory over Mia Katzenberger and Haley Parker in No. 3 doubles.

Needing two victories in singles play to seal their ticket to the championship match, the victors in No. 1 doubles reprised their dominance. Robinson signed off on a 6-2, 6-3 win over Jones in No. 1 singles. Burton did the same with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Lizzy Katzenberger in No. 3 singles to finish up a 5-1 win over the Panthers.

The Pioneers will take on Anderson University as each team looks to seize the conference's automatic bid into next spring's 2020 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Tomorrow's HCAC Championship match will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Top Seed Tennis Club.

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