Coaches Select Earlham to Repeat as HCAC Men's Tennis Champs
February 5, 2014Earlham College Broadcast Sports
GREENWOOD, IN – Earlham College’s men’s tennis team has been unanimously selected as
the front runner to win the 2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
championship. In a poll of the nine HCAC head coaches, the Quakers received a
maximum total of 81 points and all nine first place votes.
Transylvania University placed second in the poll with 72 points, while Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology is picked to finish third in the conference standings this
fall with 59 points. Franklin College (54 points), Hanover College (44), Manchester
University (31), Defiance College (26), Anderson University (21), and College of
Mount St. Joseph (17) round out the poll.
The Quakers are coming off a 19-3 season and 9-0 conference record, claiming their
third straight HCAC championship. Earlham won the HCAC tournament and fell in the
first round of the NCAA tournament to Coe, ending its season. EC enters the 2014
conference season looking for a fourth consecutive title.
First-year head coach Chauncey Nixon returns three All-HCAC selections to the
Earlham lineup this spring, including the conference MVP. Junior Anton Bartashevich
(Moscow, Russia) earned MVP honors as a sophomore and was joined on the All-HCAC
squad by sophomores Phillip Locklear (Springboro, Ohio/H.S.) and Jack Ventura-Cruess
(Placentia, Calif./El Dorado). Bartashevich posted a 5-0 league record in singles
action and was 6-1 in doubles. Locklear earned Freshman of the Year honors after
finishing the season 9-0 in conference singles matches and 8-0 at No. 2 doubles,
while Ventura-Cruess was 13-1 in league matches.
Transylvania will look to challenge the Quakers for the top of the HCAC standings.
The Pioneers finished second in the standings last spring with an 8-1 record and
finished the season 12-8 overall. Transy returns three All-HCAC members from a year
ago. Sophomores Robert Albrecht (Lexington, Ky./Christian) and Zach Meikle
(Nicholasville, Ky./West Jessamine) and junior Dylan Conner (Jacksonville,
Fla./Flagler University) will look to lead the Pioneers lineup among the league’s
elite this spring. Albrecht led the Pioneers with a 4-3 mark at No. 1 singles and
finished 7-2 at the top doubles position. Conner finished 12-5 at No. 2 singles and
doubles, while Meikle earned a 12-4 tally at No. 3 and 4 singles and No. 1 doubles.
Rose-Hulman finished the 2013 season fourth in the conference standings, earning a
6-3 HCAC record. The Engineers finished the season 11-8 overall. Rose will look to
replace a pair of All-HCAC selections from a year ago.