No. 5 Tartans Knock Gophers Out in Second Round

No. 5 Tartans Knock Gophers Out in Second Round

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — It took the fifth-ranked team in the nation to snap Goucher's 14-match winning streak and bring the Gophers' outstanding 2015-16 season to a conclusion today. Playing in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships, head coach Brendan Kincaid's squad bowed to Carnegie Mellon, 5-0.

The match, moved indoors because of morning showers, began with the three doubles matches. The Tartans (17-6) went up 1-0 thanks to an 8-0 victory by Abhishek Alla and Yuvraj Kumar over Josiah Meekins (Trenton, N.J./Princeton Day School) and Elliot Diehl (York, Pa./York Suburban) at No. 3. The next match to conclude was at No. 2 where Jeffrey Chen and Kenny Zheng defeated Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan/International School Bangkok) and Jack Hodges (London, England/Shrewsbury School), 8-2.

Goucher took the first game at first doubles as Seth Hoesman (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) held serve. When the serve got around to him the next two times, Hoesman again held, providing the Gophers (20-5) with a 3-2 lead after five games and later reducing the Tartans' advantage to 5-4.

Before the senior had a chance to serve for the fourth time in the pro set, the duo of Vayum Arora and Daniel Levine won the next three sets and complete an 8-4 win over Hoesman and Joey Caracappa (Smithtown, N.Y./Saddlebrook Preparatory School). It was only the third time all season that Goucher was swept in doubles competition.

Because the match was played to decision, it ended when Carnegie Mellon picked up two wins in singles play. The first was at No. 2 where Levine turned back Hodges 6-1, 6-3; the second at No. 4 where Zheng topped Diehl 6-1, 6-0.

That left two unfinished matches involved Caracappa at No. 1 and Hoesman at No. 3 where their opponents had already won the first set and were leading in the second. There were only four courts available for the match when it was moved indoors, so the competitors at fifth and sixth singles never even began warming up.

"We knew going in that this would be the toughest match we've played all season," Kincaid said after addressing his team following the match. "Carnegie Mellon was every bit as good as we thought they would be, but we put up a fight. I thought Joey and Seth gave a great performance at first doubles and also at their separate singles matches.

"I'll never be happy when we lose, but as losses go, this one was gratifying to a degree. We came out here and beat a team seeded higher than us in ther first round and then gave a good account of ourselves against one of the top Division III teams in the nation."

With the victory, Carnegie Mellon advances to the third round and is one win away from earning a spot in the national quarterfinals.