TOWSON, Md. - First-year Tetsuya Ota (Winter Park, Fla.), senior Jack Hodges (London, England) and junior Elliot Diehl (York, Pa.) were all two-time winners on the day, as the Goucher College men's tennis team captured the 2018 Landmark Conference Championship on Saturday with a 5-2 win over Scranton.
With the victory, the Gophers captured their third consecutive Landmark Conference title, clinching the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament in the process. Goucher also pushed their record to 23-4 overall, as they continue the best season by win-loss record in both program and Landmark Conference history.
Scranton fell to 13-4 for the 2018 season with the defeat.
Things got started well for Goucher in doubles, where the Gophers took two of three matches to go up 2-1 entering singles.
First, at number three, the tandem of sophomore Slade Dumas (Great Falls, Va.) and Diehl rolled to an 8-3 win to put Goucher up, 1-0. It was a similar result for Ota and Hodges at number one, where they collected an 8-4 win to put Goucher up, 2-0.
Scranton got a win back at number two doubles, slashing the Goucher lead in half entering singles. But, in singles action, Goucher came out strong, winning the first set in five of the six matches contested.
The first match to wrap up for the Gophers was at number two, where Hodges rolled by Keller McGurrin of Scranton in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 to put Goucher up, 3-1, in the match.
Alex Ochalski got Scranton back in the match with a win at number three singles in straight sets, but Ota pulled out a three-set victory (7-5, 1-6, 6-0) at number one to put the Gophers on the brink of the Landmark Championship with a 4-2 lead.
Attention then turned to the last three singles matches on the line-up, and in Diehl's match at number six. After winning the first set, 6-4, Diehl and his opponent, Connor Lemieux, went back and forth in the second set, eventually going to a tiebreak tied, 6-6.
In that tiebreak, however, Diehl was dominant, taking a 7-3 decision to take it, the set, the match, and the Landmark Conference title for Goucher.
For his efforts, Ota was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 Landmark Conference Championship. In all, Ota goes into the NCAA Tournament with am 18-6 overall mark in singles, while he and Hodges have collected 14 doubles victories for the year.
Hodges, meanwhile, moved to 18-8 in singles for the year with his win. And Diehl had a bit of redemption in the match, as against Scranton on April 7, he lost twice. Diehl and Dumas also handed Aksu and Swope of Scranton just their second loss of the year in doubles action, as well.
Goucher now awaits to see who and where they will play in the 2018 Division III Tournament, which will begin on Friday, May 11 at sites across the country. The national championship field will be announced on Monday at noon via an NCAA.com press release.
More information on the match will be posted throughout the week at athletics.goucher.edu, as well.
Goucher College 5, University of Scranton 2
May 05, 2018 at Towson, Md. (Goucher Courts)
1. Tetsuya Ota (GOUMTEN) def. Tarquin McGurrin (SCRMT18) 7-5, 1-6, 6-0
2. Jack Hodges (GOUMTEN) def. Keller McGurrin (SCRMT18) 6-3, 6-2
3. Alexander Ochalski (SCRMT18) def. Michael Herman (GOUMTEN) 6-2, 6-3
4. Frankie Mullinix (GOUMTEN) vs. Charles Swope (SCRMT18) 6-4, 4-6, unfinished
5. Slade Dumas (GOUMTEN) vs. Brian Harkins (SCRMT18) 6-4, 3-6, unfinished
6. Elliot Diehl (GOUMTEN) def. Connor Lemieux (SCRMT18) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
1. Tetsuya Ota/Jack Hodges (GOUMTEN) def. Tarquin McGurrin/Keller McGurrin (SCRMT18) 8-4
2. Brian Harkins/Alexander Ochalski (SCRMT18) def. Michael Herman/Frankie Mullinix (GOUMTEN) 8-4
3. Slade Dumas/Elliot Diehl (GOUMTEN) def. Christian Aksu/Charles Swope (SCRMT18) 8-3
University of Scranton 13-4
Goucher College 23-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,3,1,6)
2018 Landmark Conference Championship Match
Goucher Wins Third Straight Landmark Conference Title