A very special senior class was celebrated by the Hillsdale College men's tennis team Saturday afternoon.
The first full class recruited by head coach Keith Turner - Jerry Hewitt, Justin Hyman and John Ciraci - completed their home careers in an uplifting way, leading Hillsdale to a 5-2 win over Cedarville University in the 2018-19 regular season finale. The win makes the Chargers 14-8 overall and 4-2 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Hewitt, Hyman and Ciraci joined the Charger program when it was reborn in the Fall of 2015. Turner said in a post-match ceremony that those three took a real chance on joining a team that wasn't a team the year before. They gave the brand-new team an athletic core, credibility, and eventually, a conference championship.
Hewitt, the very first player in this class to sign with Hillsdale, won both of his matches against the Yellow Jackets. He teamed up with fellow senior Ciraci for a 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles, and cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles.
Ciraci, one of the most consistent and successful players on the team in his career, was also a decisive singles winner, picking up a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles.
Gabe Katz earned a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles, and junior Charlie Adams took home a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles. Michael Szabo and Brian Hackman helped the Chargers earn the doubles point with a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles.
Hillsdale will now prepare to defend its 2018 conference tournament title at next weekend's G-MAC Tournament, hosted by Kentucky Wesleyan College.
PHOTO: Victoria Addis