Athletics News
Women's tennis picked to lead HCAC race


GREENWOOD, Ind. – After winning each of the last three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, the league’s head coaches have picked the Hanover women’s tennis team to win its fourth consecutive title in 2016.

This is the third straight season that the Panthers have been picked to lead the race in the HCAC, as Hanover received seven of the nine first place votes to total 79 points. Rose-Hulman scored the other two first place votes to log 66 points for second place. Franklin’s 65 points ranked them third in the preseason poll.

Anderson (55), Manchester (45), ad Transylvania (Ky.) (40) sit in the fourth through sixth spots. Rounding out the rest of the field is Defiance (Ohio), Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), and Earlham with 22, 21, and 12 points respectively.

With three consecutive HCAC regular season and tournament titles, the women’s tennis program has lived up to its preseason expectations, compiling a 42-10 overall mark since the 2013 season. Hanover has also won its last 30 HCAC regular season and tournament games combined, as well its last 25 regular season conference matches.

The Panthers will open the season with road matches on the first four days of September. Hanover will face Wheaton (Ill.) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, and will then face Elmhurst (Ill.) at 1 p.m. the following day. After competing in the DePauw Invitational on Sept. 3 and 4, the Panthers will then welcome Georgetown (Ky.) for their home opener at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Practices begin for men's soccer


HANOVER, Ind. –The Hanover men’s soccer team is back on campus and have begun practicing, as they look to follow up last season’s recording breaking performance in 2016.

The Panthers set a program high in wins, as they went 12-6-3 overall during the 2015 campaign. The team also shared the HCAC regular season championship with a 7-0-2 mark. Hanover has been picked by the conference head coaches to place second in the season long race this year.

Head coach Matt Wilkerson will be able to lean on a veteran squad in 2016, as all seven all-HCAC performers from last season return again this year.

2015 HCAC Offensive Player of the Year Enrico Franchini (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is one of the top returners for HC, as he set a single season record a year ago with 15 goals. His scoring total led both the team and the HCAC, while it was also good enough 32nd in NCAA Division III. The senior also scored six game-winning goals in 2015, ranking 11th in the nation, en route to being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of American all-region squad.

In net, Rafael Di Maio (Sao Paulo, Brazil) returns for his second season of extended action for the Panthers. Di Maio, a 2015 HCAC first team honoree, posted a goals against average of 0.808 last year, ranking third in the HCAC and in the top 60 in the NCAA. The senior also recorded eight shutouts, while logging a .830 save percentage.

Joining Di Maio in the backend is senior defender Alex McSweeney (Louisville, Ky.). McSweeney helped guide a Panther defense in 2015 to four consecutive shutouts in the middle of the season, while also holding opponents to just 12.1 shot attempts per contest.

2015 second team all-HCAC performer Dominic Isadore (Cincinnati, Ohio) will join Franchini up top in the Hanover offensive attack. Isadore totaled seven goals, and tied for the team high in assists as well with four. The junior had four of his goals considered as game-winners, ranking second in the conference.

Other returning all-conference selections include second team members Matthew Eldridge (Louisville, Ky.) and Matthew Hand (Auckland, Australia), as well as honorable mention choice Zach Barnes (Seymour, Ind).

Hanover will open the 2016 campaign with four matches away from home, including the season opener at DePauw on Thursday, Sept. 1, with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Blue and Red will then travel to Wabash on Sept. 4, and will compete in the Wabash tournament against Carthage (Wis.) and Monmouth (Ill.) on Sept. 10 and 11. The home opener for HC will come at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 against Spalding (Ky.).

Contact: Tyler Jester

Women's soccer hits the pitch to prep for 2016


HANOVER, Ind. – With a veteran squad returning, the Hanover women’s soccer team looks to win its fourth consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship this season as they begin practice this week.

The Panthers have won each of the past three regular season and tournament titles in the HCAC and with 23 players returning from 2015, the league’s head coaches have picked HC to win it again this year.

To view photos from Monday afternoon’s practice or the HCAC Preseason Poll, view the links above.

Five 2015 all-HCAC players return this season including a pair of all-Americans in senior Anna Cornacchione (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior Abby Shroyer (Zionsville, Ind.). Cornacchione, a 2014 National Soccer Coaches Association of America third team all-American, has also been a first team all-conference performer in each of her first three years. The senior was also named 2013 and 2014 HCAC Offensive Most Valuable Player. Cornacchione led the team in goals and points in 2015 with 17 scores and 42 total points. With her total points mark, Cornacchione ranked 34th nationally, while her goal tally was 40th best in NCAA Division III.

Shroyer became the Panthers’ fourth all-American honoree as she was a third team NSCAA selection a year ago. The two-time first team all-HCAC performer was also the 2015 HCAC Defensive Most Valuable Player for her play in the backend. Shroyer helped guide the team to a 0.64 goals against average in 2015, ranking first in the conference and 35th nationally. The team’s 10 shutouts also gave them a .476 shutout percentage, which led the HCAC.

Senior forward Elaine Simpson (Lexington, Ky.) also returns, as her eight helpers tied Cornacchione for the team high. Simpson also added 12 goals to rank second on HC. Her 32 total points was also good enough for third in the conference.

Cassidy Evanson (Carmel, Ind.) and Katie Workman (Lexington, Ky.) are back after being selected to the second team and honorable mention squad in the HCAC last season. Evanson, a midfielder, tallied five goals and five assists, while the defender Workman added two scores and one helper.

As a team, the Panthers will not only look to continue their stout defensive effort, but also their strong offensive attack. Hanover posted 24.29 shots per game a year ago, ranking eighth in the nation, while its scoring offense of 2.62 goals per contest was good enough second in the conference and 61st in the NCAA.

Hanover will open 2016 on the first weekend of Sept. in Wheaton, Ill. at the Bob Baptista Invitational. The Blue and Red will have two 5:30 p.m. matches, one coming against Hope (Mich.) on Friday, Sept. 2, and the other against Washington (Mo.) on Saturday, Sept. 3. The Panthers will welcome John Carroll (Ohio) for their home opener at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Coaches pick women's cross country to place third in HCAC


GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Hanover women’s cross country team has been picked by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference head coaches to finish third in the league’s championship race this season.

After picking up back-to-back conference championships in 2013 and 2014, the Panthers placed second at last season’s HCAC meet, and will look to regain the conference’s top spot in 2016. Hanover picked up 78 points, falling behind Manchester, who tallied 98 points and eight first place votes, and Bluffton (Ohio), 86 points and two first place votes.

Franklin, Rose-Hulman, and Anderson jockeyed for position in the middle of the field, coming in with 65, 63, and 60 points respectively. Rounding out the rest of the conference preseason poll was Transylvania (Ky.) (33), Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) (28), Earlham (20), and Defiance (Ohio) (19).

A familiar face with the program, Brian Power will take over as interim head coach for both the men’s and women’s cross country squads in 2016. Power was appointed Director of Track & Field and Cross Country prior to the 2015-16 season and will look to continue the success of the women’s cross country program in recent years.

Dating back to the 2009 campaign, the Panthers have been picked to place fifth or better in all eight years, including 2016. Hanover has backed up its preseason prediction on each occasion, placing fourth or better in each of the last seven HCAC meets, including the two championships.

The Sodexo Grizzly Invitational in Shelbyville, Ind., on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. will be HC’s first chance to compete in 2016. The Panthers will then host their annual invitational at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. Hanover will also host the HCAC championship on Saturday, Oct. 29, with a noon start time.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Men's cross country picked third in HCAC preseason poll


GREENWOOD, Ind. – After placing third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in 2014 and 2015, the Hanover men’s cross country team has been picked to place third by the league’s head coaches again this season.

The Panthers totaled 77 points in the preseason poll, trailing just Rose-Hulman and Manchester who recorded 100 and 89 points respectively. Rose-Hulman also tallied all 10 first place votes.

With 72 points, Anderson came in fourth, while Bluffton’s (Ohio) 52 points placed them in the fifth spot. Franklin and Defiance (Ohio) ranked sixth and seventh respectively with 54 and 36 points. Transylvania (Ky.) (33), Earlham (20), and Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) (13) round out the rest of the conference field.

Brian Power, current Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, has recently been named interim head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, and he will look to continue the recent success of both squadsthis fall.

The men’s cross country teamhas now been picked to place in the top half of the field in each of the past three seasons, while also recording top four finishes at the HCAC championship in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Since 2009, Hanover has placed better or the same as its preseason conference mark in six of the last seven conference championship meets.

The Panthers open the season at the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational in Shelbyville, Ind., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. Hanover will then host its annual invitational the following weekend, Saturday, Sept. 10, with a 10 a.m. start. The Blue and Red will also host the HCAC Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29, beginning at noon.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Preparations for 2016 season begin for volleyball


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College volleyball team began its preparation for the 2016 season this past weekend.

To view the photo gallery from Sunday’s practice, click the link above.

After gathering the program’s first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title in five years a season ago, the Panthers have been picked as the league’s favorite to win it again in 2016.

Hanover returns 11 players from the 2015 campaign, including HCAC Most Valuable Player Courtney Crawford (Louisville, Ky.). The junior led the conference in three statistical categories, including blocks per set (1.16), hitting percentage (.354), and total blocks (131). Crawford’s HCAC leading stats were also good enough to rank in the top 30 nationally.

2015 first team all-conference selection Kelsey Brandvik (Indianapolis, Ind.) also returns for her junior season as an outside hitter for the Blue and Red. Brandvik led the Panthers in kills per set a year ago at 2.19, while ranking in the top 15 in the HCAC in hitting percentage at .220.

Sophomore Haley Alexander (Martinsville, Ind.) is coming off her first season with Hanover, one in which she led the team with 506 assists, ranking eighth in the conference. Alexander was also named to the HCAC all-freshman team in 2015.

Hanover will look to rely on its stout defense again this year. The Panthers ranked sixth in NCAA Division III a year ago in blocks per set at 2.42, and their opponent’s hitting percentage was a conference best .136.

Under the guidance of 2015 HCAC Coach of the Year, Peter Preocanin, the Blue and Red have posted a 79-53 record in conference matches since 1999. In his 17-year stint, the Panthers have finished in the top four of the conference on 12 occasions, including three championships.

Hanover will start the season with four neutral site matches at the Washington (Mo.) Baden Invitational on September 2 and 3. The Panthers will open the 2016 campaign with Webster (Mo.) and Adrian (Mich.) at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively on Friday, Sept. 2. They will close the Invitational with Edgewood (Wis.) and DePauw at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. the following day.

The home opener for HC will be the college’s first of the new athletic year, and will come on Wednesday, Sept. 7, when the Panthers welcome Centre (Ky.) for an 8 p.m. contest.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Men's soccer picked to finish second in HCAC race


GREENWOOD, Ind. – Coming off a 2015 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, the Hanover men’s soccer team has been picked to finish second this season by the league’s head coaches.

This marks the second time in three seasons that the Panthers have been projected to finish second in the HCAC. Hanover totaled 82 points and received one first place vote.

Rose-Hulman, 2015 HCAC Tournament Champions, received the remaining nine first place votes, scoring 91 points to lead the preseason poll. Transylvania (Ky.) finished third with 75 points.

Rounding out the top five in the conference are Franklin and Earlham with 63 and 62 points respectively. The bottom half of the preseason poll includes Manchester (49), Anderson (40), Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) (34), Defiance (Ohio) (31), and Bluffton (Ohio) (23).

The Panthers’ preseason prognosis since 2009 shows that Hanover has been picked to place in the top half of the field on six occasions, and four out of five times under current head coach Matt Wilkerson. Over the past seven seasons, HC has improved upon its preseason prediction on five occasions, including last year when the Panthers won the regular season title after being picked to place fifth.

Since the start of 2012, under the guidance of Wilkerson, the Blue and Red are 19-10-7 in HCAC matches and 34-31-12 overall.

Hanover begins the 2016 campaign on the road with two away games, as well as two neutral site matches. The Panthers open the season at DePauw with a 7 p.m. kickoff on Thursday, Sept. 1. Hanover’s home opener will come at 5 p.m. pm on Tuesday, Sept. 13, when they welcome Spalding (Ky.) for a non-conference match.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Hanover alumnus Thom Mayer selected as one of NFL's most important people


HANOVER, Ind. – Hanover College alumnus and former HC football player Thom Mayer, MD, has been named as one of the National Football League’s 100 most important people by the USA TODAY sports staff.

Mayer, a 1973 graduate of Hanover, currently serves as the medical director for the NFL Players Association. Since taking over the position in 2001, Mayer has led the fight for better diagnosis and treatment for concussions, heat-related illnesses, cardiac care, and other health and safety issues facing professional athletes.

The 2015 Hanover Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and 2004 Hanover Alumni Achievement Award winner, is also the point person for the union with investigations where breach of concussion protocol is suspected.

A two-year starter at linebacker for Hanover, Mayer was an all-conference selection during his sophomore season. Though a leg injury during his junior season cut his playing career short, Mayer has made a substantial impact in the medical field.

In 2001, while serving as chair of the department of emergency medicine at a hospital in Fairfax, Va., Mayer served as director of medical assets while treating those injured during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. The afternoon of the attack, it was Mayer who requested the American flag hang from the damaged Pentagon wall. It quickly became one of the iconic images from the tragedy.

To view the list of all 100 individuals, click on the link above.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Women's soccer garners top spot in HCAC Preseason Poll


GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Hanover College women’s soccer team has been projected by the head coaches in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference to win its fourth consecutive league title.

The Panthers have won both the regular season and conference tournament title in each of the past three seasons as they return five all-conference selections from 2015.

Hanover received eight of the 10 first place votes, collecting a total of 90 points. Franklin garnered the remaining two first place votes en route to recording 81 points for second place. Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) totaled 72 points to round out the top three.

The rest of the HCAC preseason poll is as followed: Transylvania (Ky.) (71), Anderson (57), Rose-Hulman (54), Bluffton (Ohio) (40), Manchester (36), Earlham (25), and Defiance (Ohio) (24).

Since head coach Jim Watts’ first season at Hanover in 2008, the Blue and Red have been picked to finish in the top half of the HCAC seven times. The Panthers have been voted in the top two in each of the past six seasons, including four appearances atop the preseason poll.

With the high expectations, Hanover has delivered, recording a 45-7-2 HCAC mark over the past six seasons, a .852 winning percentage. The Panthers have also won five regular season championships and four conference tournament championships since 2009.

The Blue and Red will open the season at the Bob Baptista Invitational, hosted by Wheaton (Ill.), on Sept. 2 and 3. Hanover kicks off the tournament with Hope (Mich.) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, and will then face Washington (Mo.) at 5:30 p.m. the following day. The first home match for HC will be on Sunday, Sept. 11, when they welcome John Carroll (Ohio) for a 1 p.m. match.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Hanover announces 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College athletic department has announced the 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Class which includes four standout athletes and two special honorees for their contributions to the game of golf.

The Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2016 will be inducted on Saturday, October 22, during the home football contest with Earlham, and will include Paul Gray, Terry Sprinkle, Chris Stormer, Bill Wilcox, and Joe and Marcia Luigs. Read about each of the distinguished inductees below.

Paul Gray, 1992

Gray, a 1992 graduate, played four seasons with the Hanover Panther football and golf squads. Biding his time at the quarterback position, Gray built on momentum at the conclusion of his junior year where he was named the team’s most improved player, by throwing himself into the record books his senior campaign.

The 1991 NAIA All-American was also the Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference (ICAC) most valuable player and first team selection, setting at the time, a program record 3,703 total yards in the season.

The gunslinger also currently holds the school records for passing yards, attempts, and touchdowns in a game, all of which came against Georgetown, the eventual NAIA national champion in 1991. Gray threw 92 pass attempts, at the time breaking the national collegiate record for all levels, completing 41 attempts for 630 yards.

Not only did Gray excel on the football field, but he also was honored as an all-conference and all-district selection in golf during his senior season, en route to being named HC’s Male Senior Outstanding Athlete.

Terry Sprinkle, 1984

Sprinkle, a 1984 graduate, was a four-year standout for the Hanover women’s basketball and volleyball teams. As a four-year starter for the women’s basketball squad, Sprinkle averaged 18.4 points per game for her career, and was the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,470 points when she left Hanover.

Currently, Sprinkle ranks third all-time in scoring, and though rebounding records are incomplete prior to 1990, it is estimated she grabbed approximately 648 boards, which would put her in the top 10 in school history. During the 1981-82 season, Sprinkle shot 51.3 percent from the floor, putting her in the top 10 in program history for field goal percentage in a single season.

A two-time first team all-NAIA District 21 selection, Sprinkle led the team in scoring (18.1), rebounds (10.5), assists (3.4), steals (2.6), and blocked shots during her senior campaign.

Sprinkle’s volleyball career at Hanover also lasted four seasons, as she was known as a “big hitter” as she dominated around the net.

Chris Stormer, 1999

Stormer, a 1999 graduate, is statistically the most accurate passer in Hanover football history, as he holds the program record for pass completions in a game (44), career pass completion percentage (.652), season completion percentage (.675), and completion percentage in a game (.886).

It was Stormer’s accurate passing during his junior year, in which he completed 263 of 399 passes for 2,994 yards and 23 touchdowns that earned him NCAA Division III Second Team All-American honors. His 1997 total offense per game average of 320.4 yards was also good enough to rank second in the country.

Adding to the accolades his junior season, Stormer posted a passer’s rating over 200 when he completed 20 consecutive passes against Manchester, at the time, setting an NCAA record. He continued the completion streak into the next contest, connecting on his first seven attempts.

The two-time NCAA Division III National Player of the Week, earned preseason First Team All-American honors heading into his senior season where he tallied 3,265 passing yards and 31 touchdowns.

During the 1998 campaign, Stormer was named to the honorable mention squad as an All-American, while also garnering the conference’s and team’s most valuable player awards. Stormer was also named the Hanover Most Outstanding Senior Athlete in 1999.

Bill Wilcox, 2001

As a two-sport standout, 2001 graduate Bill Wilcox currently holds a spot in both the football and track and field all-time record books. Wilcox participated in the football program for five seasons after receiving a medical hardship waiver in his junior season, 1999, and also competed for the track and field squad during the 1998 and 2000 seasons.

For his career on the gridiron, Wilcox ranks third in school history in all-purpose yards with 4,448, while his 2,160 rushing yards is fourth best in the program’s rich history.

A three-time, all-conference choice, Wilcox received first team honors during his first two seasons in 1996 and 1997, rushing for 947 and 524 yards respectively.

The 1996 Hanover Most Valuable Back also combined for 897 receiving yards over his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In a 1997 contest against Manchester, Wilcox showed his versatility, tying the then school mark of 17 receptions.

During his stint with the track team, Wilcox spent most of his time in the field events, where he still holds the indoor long jump record of 6.50 meters (21”04’). In the conference meet during the 2000 season, he won the javelin and triple jump while placing second in the long jump to earn the conference’s most valuable field performance award.

Joe, 1965, and Marcia Luigs

Joe, a 1965 graduate, and Marcia Luigs, who attended Hanover in 1963 and 1964, have become household names in the world of golf as their contributions over the past 30 years have earned the couple special recognition into the Hanover Athletic Hall of Fame.

Both Joe and Marcia have received numerous awards for all of their hard work for the United States Golf Association (USGA), as they became the first couple to earn the USGA Ike Granger Award, for 25 years of volunteer service. Joe received the honor in 2006, while Marcia followed in 2009.

Joe, former President of Crooked Stick Golf Club where the Hanover golf teams participate in an event each season, has served as an official in charge in over 70 USGA qualifiers. The three time, all-conference selection at Hanover has also added dozens of USGA national championships to his resume as a rules official or committee chair, including the US Open, US Women’s Open, US Senior Open, and NCAA Men’s Championship.

The former chairman of the 2007 USGA Women's Amatuer, Joe was also the vice president and trustee of the Western Golf Association Evans Scholar Foundation. Joe has also received the USGA Joe Dey award, which is given out to one individual annually for their contributions to the game of golf.

As a member of the USGA Women’s committee since 1990, Marcia served as the vice chairwoman of the committee from 2003-04, and served as the chairwoman, the highest position in women's golf, from 2005-06.

Marcia was also the chairwoman of the USGA Girl’s Junior Championship committee from 1994-1998 and has also served as a rules official for numerous events including the US Open, US Women’s Open, US Senior Open, and NCAA Women’s Championship. Marcia was also named captain of the 2008 USGA Women’s World Amateur team.

The 2007 honorary chair for the USGA Women's Amatuer, Marcia was also the recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 1996.

Both Joe and Marcia are founding members of the 1827 Society at Hanover, which is a planned giving recognition society for the college. Also, for their contributions, the couple earned membership into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in November 2003 and are also members of the Indiana Golf Foundation President’s Club for giving.