Tennis wins HCAC, makes NCAA tourney
|Player of the Year Parker Gregory|
The men’s tennis team got its first taste of NCAA national tournament play after completing yet another undefeated regular season in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and winning the league’s tournament crown for the fifth straight year.
Transy rolled to a 7-0 HCAC mark during the regular season and headed into the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. Playing at the West Indy Racquet Club in Indianapolis, the Pioneers knocked off Manchester College 5-0 in the qualifying round and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 5-0 in the semifinals. They then dispatched second-seeded Hanover College 5-1 in the finals, earning their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III national championships.
Transy won its first NCAA match by 9-0 over Westminster College before running into DePauw University, ranked eighth in the nation and the top seeded host for the NCAA regional, in the second round. The Tigers proved too strong for the Pioneers, ending Transy’s season with a 9-0 victory.
The Pioneers’ 7-0 regular season HCAC mark extended their amazing streak of regular season conference match wins to 32 over the past five years. Their overall record of 16-5 included a 2-1 mark during a spring break trip to Alabama, during which they defeated Faulkner State University and Meridian Community College.
Transy swept the individual honors in the HCAC, beginning with Player of the Year Parker Gregory. The senior, an HCAC Player of the Week, compiled a 13-2 conference record and was 15-5 overall. Lee Gammon, a first-year player and also an HCAC Player of the Week, was named Freshman of the Year after going undefeated in 13 HCAC matches and compiling a 22-11 record overall. First-year player Kyle Clayton and senior Josh Niehaus were also named to the All-HCAC team.
In what has become an annual event for him, Pioneer head coach Chuck Brown was named Coach of the Year in the HCAC for the fifth straight year.