Women’s tennis wins HCAC, heads to NCAA
The women’s tennis team capped off a stellar fall season by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in school history, which gave the Pioneers the HCAC’s automatic bid to this spring’s NCAA Division III championship. Transylvania will begin regional NCAA play on May 7 (site to be determined).
After losing their first two matches to Brescia University and Kentucky Wesleyan College by identical 6-3 scores, the Pioneers never looked back as they swept away 12 straight opponents in compiling a 12-2 record, setting a school mark for number of wins. Their perfect 7-0 conference mark gave them the HCAC regular season title, also a school first.
Junior Katie Boone made the All-HCAC team.
Head coach Chuck Brown, who also coaches the Transy men, felt the phenomenal success of the men’s team—winners of seven HCAC titles in a row—has been an inspiration for the women’s team that paid off this past season.
“I think the women really wanted to have that same kind of recognition,” Brown said. “We played well all year long and were very consistent. Hopefully, we’ll have a good showing in the NCAA tournament.”
In the HCAC tourney, Transy advanced to the finals with a 5-0 win over Anderson University, then topped Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 5-3 in the finals. Juniors Katie Boone and Sarah Ridley, sophomore Andi Mong, and first-year player Kaitlyn Hizny all won singles matches for the Pioneers.
Sophomore Kelsey Fulkerson played No. 1 singles for Transy and led a contingent of four Pioneers on the All-HCAC first team. Also honored were Boone, Ridley, and sophomore Stephanie Townsend.
Brown won Coach of the Year honors in the HCAC and was also named Coach of the Year in Kentucky by the United States Tennis Association.