NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University managed three of six singles wins, but a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference dual between long-time rivals came down to doubles play Tuesday, April 25.
Senior Stratton Smith (New Palestine, Ind.) and junior Isaac Collis (Indianapolis, Ind.) got the singles' victory march going quickly at the university's outdoor courts. Smith turned in a straight-set decision, while Collis battled past the Ravens' Andrew Gingerich with a third-set 7-5 squeaker. Junior Garrett Bear (Indianapolis, Ind.), moving into first on the team's win ladder with his fourth decision, took a straight-set final at number five for the third singles' point. Coach Eric Christiansen's squad was poised for a pivotal fourth win, but sophomore Connor Eichenauer (North Manchester, Ind.) was turned away by AU's Chase Kimmerling in three hard-fought sets.
Collis and Smith were just as precision-like in doubles as singles, rolling to an 8-3 win at number one. From that point, it was all on the visitors' side of the net with 8-4 and 8-6 finals that locked up the narrow 5-4 team finish.
The Black and Gold (1-9 overall, 1-6 HCAC) wrap up their home and regular season Saturday, April 29. Transylvania University visits for an 11 a.m. first serve.