TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's tennis team has been selected as the favorites to win this year's Heartland Conference title in a preseason poll of league coaches released this afternoon.
The Fightin' Engineers are looking to win a third consecutive HCAC Tournament title and earn a third straight trip to the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Tournament. Last season the men completed a stellar 2016 campaign with an overall record of 20-9, including a perfect 8-0 mark against Heartland opponents during the regular season. Rose-Hulman won their second HCAC Tournament title after sweeping Hanover and Transylvania 5-0 in the semifinals and championship.
Head Coach Dan Hopkins enters his 29th season as the head tennis coach at Rose-Hulman.
The Fightin' Engineers return a strong team led by seniors Georges Adam and Brandon Benedict. Senior Joe Kendall also returns for his final season for RHIT. Junior Cam Metzger will also help anchor a team that has gone 33-15 over the last two seasons. Last season Adam, Metzger, Benedict, and sophomore Andre Adam were all-HCAC selections. Kendall was an honorable mention all-HCAC selection last year as well.
In the preseason poll RHIT garnered six out of the nine first-place votes and received 78 points. Earlham received two first-place votes and was picked to finish second with 71 points. Hanover was slated to finish third with 61 points and the Panthers received one first-place vote. Franklin, Defiance, Transylvania, Manchester, Anderson, and Mount St. Joseph round out the rest of the Heartland Conference preseason poll.
Several members of the Fightin' Engineers tennis team competed in the ITA Regionals this past September at Kalamazoo College. The regular season will kick off on February 4 at Principia College. Rose-Hulman will then play perennial power Case Western Reserve at the West Indy Racquet Club on February 10. At the end of the month the Fightin' Engineers will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to play at Oglethorpe on February 25 before continuing on to Florida for their spring trip.
Men's Tennis HCAC Preseason Poll
Rose-Hulman - 78 (6)
|2.||Earlham - 71 (2)|
|3.||Hanover - 61 (1)|
|4.||Franklin - 48|
|5.||Defiance - 41|
|6.||Transylvania - 40|
|7.||Manchester - 34|
|8.||Anderson - 21|
|9.||Mount St. Joseph - 11|