INDIANPOLIS, Ind. – For the second time in three years, the Franklin College women's tennis team is headed to the finals of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Championship.
The Grizzlies (12-2) punched their ticket to Sunday's championship match, picking up a 5-2 win over Rose-Hulman in the tournament semifinals at the West Indy Racquet Club. The Grizzlies' win sets up a showdown with four-time defending HCAC Tournament champion and top-seeded Hanover tomorrow afternoon.
Much like their regular season meeting, the Grizzlies and Fightin' Engineers engaged in a hard-fought battle throughout the match. The Grizzlies opened doubles play with a win at the No. 1 spot from Karen Dringenburg and Rachel Rose, who earned an 8-3 win over Anna Thompson and Naomi Bhagat.
Holyn Eldridge and Alexa Schofner assumed their normal spot as the team's No. 2 tandem, and they gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead heading into singles play with a hard-fought 9-7 win over the Engineers' Bella Evans and Fanny-Jane Banda.
Rose-Hulman drew even after the end of the first singles match, but they wouldn't take another point the rest of the afternoon. Dringenburg handled Thompson in straight sets at the top spot, winning 6-3, 6-2. Eldridge brought the Grizzlies within one point of a win with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Evans from the No. 2 singles spot.
Senior Megan Battles earned the clinching point against Kyla Jarvis at the No. 5 spot. Battles held off Jarvis 7-6 (7-5) in the first set before closing things out with a 6-1 win in the second set.
Franklin and Hanover will meet for the HCAC Championship for the second straight year on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Hanover won the regular season meeting between the two teams back on Oct. 11, downing the Grizzlies 5-3.