Men's Tennis Punches Ticket to NCAA Tournament With Second Consecutive Landmark Championship

Men's Tennis Punches Ticket to NCAA Tournament With Second Consecutive Landmark Championship

ALTOONA, Pa. – The Goucher College men's tennis team (15-10, Landmark 5-2) earned its second consecutive Landmark Conference title in a 5-1 win over Juniata on the road Sunday afternoon.

The Gophers wasted no time putting the Eagles in a 2-1 hole, taking home wins at #2 and #3 doubles. Senior Midori Fujitani (Tokyo, Japan) and junior Jack Hodges (London, England) drubbed Matyas Kohout and Owen Grafe 8-1 at #2 doubles, earning their 39th win together as a team – a Goucher College school record.

Juniata knotted the match at 1-1 after taking #1 doubles, 8-4. Sophomore Josiah Meekins (Trenton, N.J.) and freshman Frankie Mullinix (Washington, D.C.) paired up at #2 doubles, avenging their regular season loss to Dan Ansel and Jason Gerber, 8-6, and earned Goucher a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.

Freshman Michael Herman (Prague, Czech Republic) laid it his opponent, Roy Liberman, in the first set, winning 6-2 at #2 singles. Liberman jumped out to a lead in the second set, but Herman quickly wiped away the deficit, earning Goucher its first of three wins in singles play.

He was quickly followed by Mullinix who smothered Kohout 6-0, 6-4 at #3 singles, giving Goucher a significant 4-1 lead.

Hodges was the deciding factor in the match, despite falling behind following the first set. Senior Dean Polisena took the first set 1-6 over Hodges, but the advantage did not last. Heading into the second set, Hodges made the necessary adjustments and took the second set 6-2. With momentum on his side and his teammates looking on anxiously, the junior from London, England, buried his opponent 6-0, earning the Gophers their second Landmark Conference Championship in as many years.

Due to his wins at #2 doubles and #1 singles, Hodges was named the Landmark Conference men's tennis tournament MVP. Hodges also added a win at #2 doubles in the Landmark Conference semifinal match against Scranton on Thursday.

Hodges (left) is named Landmark Tournament MVP. Photo with Head Coach Brendan Kincaid.

How It Happened:

Doubles competition

1. Roy Liberman/Dean Polisena (JCMTEN) def. Michael Herman/Elliot Diehl (GOUM) 8-4

2. Jack Hodges/Midori Fujitani (GOUM) def. Matyas Kohout/Owen Grafe (JCMTEN) 8-1

3. Josiah Meekins/Frankie Mullinix (GOUM) def. Jason Gerber/Dan Ansel (JCMTEN) 8-6

 

Singles competition

1. Jack Hodges (GOUM) def. Dean Polisena (JCMTEN) 1-6, 6-2, 6-0

2. Michael Herman (GOUM) def. Roy Liberman (JCMTEN) 6-2, 6-4

3. Frankie Mullinix (GOUM) def. Matyas Kohout (JCMTEN) 6-0, 6-4

4. Daichi McAuliffe-Uch (JCMTEN) vs. Elliot Diehl (GOUM) 2-3, unfinished

5. Dan Ansel (JCMTEN) vs. Slade Dumas (GOUM) 0-1, unfinished

Up Next:

The Gophers wait until Monday, May 8th, 2017 for the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis National Tournament Selection Show to find out their draw for the first round to be held on Friday, May 12th, 2017. It is Goucher's second consecutive berth to the NCAA tournament and third overall. During the 2016 season, Goucher advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, defeating Yeshiva 5-2 in the first round.