Women’s tennis wins trip to NCAA championship
The women’s tennis team won a trip to this spring’s NCAA Division III championship by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament after finishing in a tie with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for the regular season HCAC title.
Both Transylvania and Rose-Hulman fashioned 8-1 season marks in the conference. The Pioneers’ record included four straight shutouts over Defiance College, the College of Mount St. Joseph, Earlham College, and Bluffton University.
In the HCAC tournament, played at the West Indy Racquet Club in Indianapolis, Transylvania rolled over Franklin College 5-1 in the semifinals before defeating Anderson University 5-3 in the finals. In the title contest, senior Kelsey Fulkerson, playing at No. 1 singles and doubles, won her singles match and teamed with senior Stephanie Townsend to take a doubles match. Townsend won her No. 2 singles match, and junior Kaitlyn Hizny captured the No. 3 singles. Hizny teamed with senior Andi Mong to win the Pioneers’ fifth point in the No. 2 doubles match.
Fulkerson also became Transylvania’s first women’s player to gain a seed and win a match in an Intercollegiate Tennis Association event. Playing in the ITA regional tournament that was hosted by Kalamazoo College in Michigan, she defeated Laura Steele of Allegheny College in straight sets, then lost to Brittany Miller of Ohio Northern University in the round of 16. Townsend dropped her first-round match to Kelsey Keppner of Denison University.
Fulkerson was named HCAC Most Valuable Player for the second straight year. Townsend and Hizny joined her on the All-HCAC first team.
Head coach Chuck Brown was voted Coach of the Year in the HCAC for the third straight year in a season when he recorded his 200th career win in both the women’s and men’s programs.
Junior Kaitlyn Hizny was a first-team All-HCAC player.