CHARLOTTESVILLE — Eastern Hancock’s girls tennis team is a veteran group that knows how to win.

Coach Chris Hardin has nearly all of his lineup back from a group that won a second straight Mid-Eastern Conference championship and the Eastern Hancock Invitational.

The coach also has a talented freshman added to his strong lineup.

Seniors Lexi Swauger and Tori Parker and sophomore Sophie Hardin handled singles positions last year.

Swauger worked her way up from the No. 3 spot to becoming the Royals’ No. 1 player. She will remain at that position to start the season.

Hardin and freshman Lexie Fletcher, who played No. 1 throughout her middle school years, are competing for the No. 2 spot with the one that doesn’t get it likely to move to No. 3.

Parker is in the mix there, too, but she could also be a candidate to move back to doubles, where she played some last season.

“Still trying to figure out which three are going to be at singles,” coach Hardin said.

Seniors Savanah Hardin and Mikayla Hardy were last year’s leaders in victories at No. 1 doubles, Parker could join one of them at the top doubles spot.

Whoever doesn’t play at No. 1 doubles among those three will play with either senior Sarah Clark, who played No. 2 doubles last year after starting on the JV team, and Allissa Smithson, who also had some varsity matches at No. 2 doubles last season.

“Lexie Fletcher stepping in as a freshman and Sophie just being a sophomore, we’ve got a few that are a little bit younger, but we have a predominantly senior group that most have been playing varsity since they were freshmen,” Hardin said. “We have a lot of experience this year.”

Coach Hardin said the team goals are to repeat as winners of their invitational and conference tournaments.

“(MEC schools) Blue River and Randolph Southern are getting better,” the coach added. “We’ve got the target on our backs so we have to make sure we show up and are ready to play.”

Eastern Hancock is scheduled to open the season April 10 at New Castle.

2024 Eastern Hancock Girls Tennis Schedule


April 10;at New Castle;5 p.m.

April 11;vs. Rushville;5 p.m.

April 13;Eastern Hancock Invitational;9 a.m.

April 15;vs. Frankton;5 p.m.

April 16;at Triton Central;5 p.m.

April 18;at Blue River Valley;5 p.m.

April 19;Hancock Co. Tournament (at MV);5 p.m.

April 22;at Tri;5 p.m.

April 23;at Muncie Burris;5:45 p.m.

April 24;vs. Southwestern;5:30 p.m.

April 26;vs. Northeastern;5:30 p.m.

April 29;vs. Knightstown;5:30 p.m.

April 30;vs. Morristown;5 p.m.

May 6;vs. Lapel;5 p.m.

May 7;at Waldron;5:30 p.m.

May 8;vs. Shenandoah;5 p.m.

May 11;Mid-Eastern Conference (at EH);9 a.m.