INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fifth consecutive year with a 5-2 victory over Earlham College in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship match at West Indy Racquet Club on Sunday.
With the victory, the Rose-Hulman men's tennis team became the first Fightin' Engineer team in any sport to qualify for an NCAA Division III Tournament for five consecutive years. Rose-Hulman has won 47 consecutive matches against HCAC opposition dating back to May 2014, and has also won the HCAC Tournament championship for five straight years.
On Sunday, Rose-Hulman picked up two doubles wins to take an early 2-1 lead in the match. The duo of Ian Landwehr and Austin Perry picked up the first point of the match with 8-3. After Earlham knotted the match at 1-1, the No. 3 doubles team picked up the Engineers with a tiebreak victory. Joseph Conrad and Ben Strate won 8-7 and by a 7-5 margin in the tiebreak to give Rose-Hulman a 2-1 lead.
In singles play, Landwehr and Josh Giambattista picked up early straight-set wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles. Earlham answered with a win at No. 4 singles to make the match score 4-2.
Junior Austin Perry provided the clinching point for the HCAC Tournament championship by winning 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 3 singles flight.
Rose-Hulman won its school record 12th consecutive match in the victory. The Fightin' Engineers also allowed their two seniors, Andre Adam and Jacob Pluta, to be a part of teams qualifying for NCAA Division III Tournaments during all four years of their playing careers.
Following the tournament, Landwehr was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2019 HCAC Tournament for his overall performance this weekend. The result also allows 31st year head coach Dan Hopkins to complete his coaching career in the NCAA Tournament, as Hopkins has announced his retirement following the completion of the 2019 men's tennis season.
Rose-Hulman improved to 13-9 on the season, while Earlham finishes its season at 17-8. The Fightin' Engineers will learn their NCAA Division III Tournament destination on Monday at noon via a press release posted at ncaa.com.