PREVIEW | Experienced Women's Tennis Team Picked to Finish Third by HCAC Coaches

PREVIEW | Experienced Women's Tennis Team Picked to Finish Third by HCAC Coaches

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released its pre-season women's tennis rankings on Thursday (Aug. 30) afternoon. After making a run to the conference championship match one year ago, the Franklin women's tennis team has been picked to finish third overall by the league's coaches.

The Grizzlies went 6-1 in league play last year and return a trio of all-conference players at the top of their lineup in seniors Karen Dringeburg, Holyn Eldridge and Alexa Schofner. Dringenburg went 11-3 in singles play overall and 5-1 in league matches as the team's top player. Additionally, she was a dominant 14-1 in doubles competition last year and was named First Team All-HCAC a year ago.

Eldridge went 10-1 as the team's No. 2 singles player last year, racking up a 4-0 mark in conference singles play along the way. Working primarily from the No. 2 doubles spot in the lineup, Eldridge went 7-2 overall in tandem competition, including a 2-1 mark in HCAC action. Eldridge was one of three Grizzlies to earn First Team All-HCAC honors, joining Dringenburg and Rachel Rose.

Schofner rounds out the Grizzlies' list of "Players to Watch" following a 7-8 record in 2017-18 as the team's No. 4 singles competitor. She put together a 3-3 mark in HCAC singles play, and went 6-3 overall in doubles play, teaming primarily with Eldridge at the No. 2 position. For her efforts, she was named Honorable Mention All-HCAC at the end of the fall.

The Grizzlies return one other lineup contributor from 2017 in sophomore Lilly Bushong, who went 11-1 in singles play and 10-4 in doubles competition a year ago. Seniors Tapanga Gauck and Briana Hutton are joined by sophomores Emily Seger and Gabby Mahurin as program veterans looking to crack the top-six. New to the team this year are freshmen Maddie Bright, Madison Pifer, and Grace Otte.

Hanover was picked to repeat as league champions, earning eight first-place votes and 89 points in the rankings. The entire poll can be found below.

Franklin opens the fall season on Friday (Aug. 31) night, heading north for a dual match against the Mighty Oaks of Oakland City University. First serve is set for 4:00 p.m.

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Hanover (8)

89

2. Rose-Hulman (1)

74

3. Franklin

73

4. Transylvania

56

5. Earlham

50

6. Manchester

49

7. Anderson

40

8. Defiance

32

9. Mount St. Joseph

23