Grizzlies Picked to Finish Fourth in HCAC by League Coaches

Alex Hammer (left) and Blake Amonett (right) return as the Grizzlies' top doubles players in 2018 (Photo courtesy of Quinn Fitzgerald)
Alex Hammer (left) and Blake Amonett (right) return as the Grizzlies' top doubles players in 2018 (Photo courtesy of Quinn Fitzgerald)

Complete HCAC Release

GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Franklin College men's tennis team has been picked to finish fourth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) pre-season coaches' poll, which was released on Thursday afternoon.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 6-8 campaign a year ago that saw the team go 5-3 in HCAC play and qualify for the conference tournament. Franklin earned 55 points in the annual pre-season poll, slotting the Grizzlies between Hanover and Manchester in the standings.

The Grizzlies return eight players from last year's roster, including their top two singles players in senior Alex Hammer and sophomore Blake Amonett. Those two were named to the HCAC's "Players to Watch" list, along with senior Kyle Sauley.

Hammer was the Grizzlies' lone representative on the HCAC's First Team All-Conference squad a year ago, while both Amonett and Sauley collected Second Team All-HCAC honors.

Rose-Hulman was picked to win the league, garnering 75 points and five first-place votes. Earlham checks in second place after picking up 73 points and the final three first-place votes in the rankings. Hanover (66 points), Manchester (45 points), Defiance (40 points), Mount St. Joseph (30 points) and Transylvania (30 points) round out the rankings.

The Grizzlies will be in search of their first win of the spring this weekend when they head to Mount Vernon, Iowa on Saturday (Feb. 10) for meetings with Cornell College and St. Ambrose University. Start times are set for 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.