BALTIMORE, Md. – Chewbacca might have been looking down on Goucher men's tennis because may the fourth be with the Gophers men's tennis team thanks to Frankie Mullinix (Washington, D.C./The George School) clinching the team's fourth Landmark Conference Tournament title at No. 3 singles against the University of Scranton on Saturday in the championship match.
With the win, the Gophers advance to the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships for the fourth time in program history. The squad will learn its destination in the NCAA Tournament on Monday.
After closely contested doubles matches that saw Goucher take a 2-1 edge, Slade Dumas (Great Falls, Va./Dominion) won at No. 5 singles 6-0, 6-2 to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead and Brian Kane (Philadelphia, Pa./Friends Select) took his No. 6 singles match 6-1, 6-0 to push the Gophers within one point of its fourth-straight title.
Mullinix and Tetsuya Ota (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Saddlebrook Prep) were battling to be the clinching match. Ota won the first set 6-2, but then went into a second-set tiebreak and was leading 3-0 in the tiebreaker.
Mullinix won the first set 6-4 and then won 6-2 in the second set to clinch the team championship. The junior served out the match at 40-15 with a nice forehand winner to earn his third title in his three years at Goucher.
Adebamgbe and Dumas, who was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, were the first tandem to finish at No. 3 doubles with an 8-0 victory.
Mullinix and Elliot Diehl (York, Pa./York Suburban) lost at No. 2 doubles in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-2) to tie the match at 1.
Ota and Michael Herman (Prague, Czech Republic/Gymnazium Nova Porg) gave the Gophers a 2-1 team lead going into singles play after an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles. The Goucher duo were down 3-2 before it broke through and then with a 7-6 lead and holding a break point at 30-40. Ota returned the serve into the body of the Royal net person, who was only able to hit the ball into the net to seal the win for the Gophers.
While Mullinix, Dumas and Kane won at No. 3, 5 and 6 singles, Ota was on the brink of finishing his match at No. 1 singles. Herman was leading his match at No. 2 singles 6-4, 2-1 and Adebamgbe was leading 6-4, 3-2 before Mullinix was able to drop his racket and celebrate with some fist pump flexes to give team the conference title for the fourth time in program history.
It is the fourth championship title for senior Diehl and Josiah Meekins (Trenton, N.J./Princeton Day School) while Dumas, Mullinix and Herman will earn their third ring while it is the first championship for Adebamgbe, Kane and head coach Eric Spangler, who took over the team in January.
NOTE: Peter Mayhew, the man you played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars movies passed away on Friday.
1. (GC) Michael Herman/Tetsuya Ota defeats (US) Alex Ochalski/Tarq McGurrin, 8-6
2. (US) Christian Aksu/Brian Harkins defeats (GC) Frankie Mullinix/Elliot Diehl, 8-7 (7-2)
3. (GC) Omosesan Adebamgbe/Slade Dumas defeats (US) Charles Swope/Chris Koon, 8-0
1 (GC) Tetsuya Ota leads (US) Tarq McGurrin, 6-2, 6-6 (3-0), unfinished
2. (GC) Michael Herman leads (US) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
3. (GC) Frankie Mullinix defeats (US) Charles Swope, 6-4, 6-2
4. (GC) Omosean Adebamgbe leads (US) Brian Harkins, 6-4, 2-1
5.(GC) Slade Dumas defeats (US) Christian Aksu, 6-0, 6-2
6. (GC) Brian Kane defeats (US) Daniel Scala, 6-1, 6-0