WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass - For the second straight match, junior Elliot Diehl (York, Pa.) closed out an opponent with a victory in singles, as the Goucher College men's tennis team shutout Messiah, 5-0, in a 2018 NCAA Championship First Round match at Williams on Friday afternoon.
With the win, Goucher improved to 24-4 on the year, and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, last accomplishing the feat in the 2016 season. The Gophers will take on host Williams in a Second Round match-up Saturday beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Messiah ends their year with the defeat, finishing with a 13-8 record.
The dominating day for Goucher began in doubles, where all three Gopher teams coasted to victories to put the team up 3-0 entering singles.
The first win of the day was collected by the tandem of first-year Tetsuya Ota (Winter Park, Fla.) and senior Jack Hodges (London, England), who won their match, 8-1. It was the tandem's 16th win of the year, and their fourth straight overall.
Next, at number two, sophomores Michael Herman (Prague, Czech Republic) and Frankie Mullinix (Washington, D.C.) coasted to an 8-0 win to put the Gophers up, 2-0. This was shortly followed up by an 8-2 win by Diehl and sophomore Slade Dumas (Great Falls, Va.) at number three, giving the Gophers a 3-0 edge entering singles.
It was more of the same for Goucher in singles play, as each Gopher in the line-up won their first set.
The first match to finish up was at number three, where Herman won his 15th match of the season in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. This set the stage for Diehl to once again play the closer, as he clinched the NCAA Tournament win for the Gophers with a shutout win at number six (6-0, 6-0) to give Goucher their second all-time win in the NCAA Championships.
On Saturday, Goucher will face a stern test in host Williams, who comes into the match with a 13-4 record on the year. The Ephs, who are 13-4 overall for the year, ended the regular season ranked fourth nationally in the Oracle/ITA Division III Men's Rankings.