BALTIMORE, Md. – The Goucher College men's tennis will not be singing about snow like Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen did on their way to Vermont on a train. It was also probably interesting when the team found out that they could meet the defending national champion Middlebury College in the second round, but they "are going to press on and they're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Championship since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye." The Gophers are headed to Middlebury College in Vermont for the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships starting on Thursday.
The Gophers will begin the championships against Baruch College, who won the CUNY Championship, on Thursday on the Proctor Tennis Courts on the Middlebury campus. The winner advances to play the defending national champion and host Middlebury on Friday with the winner of that match moves onto the region final on Saturday against the other side of the bracket that includes MIT, Stevenson University and Clarks Summit University. Times for all matches are TBA.
Middlebury will be providing live stats and some streaming of the men's championship. The Panthers are also hosting a women's regional and that forced the men's regional to start on Thursday since it's a year ending with an odd number and the women's will commence on Friday.
Goucher advanced to its fourth-straight NCAA appearance after defeating the University of Scranton 5-1 in the Landmark Conference Men's Tennis Championship Game on Saturday. After closely-contested doubles matches where the Gophers came out ahead 2-1, 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. Frankie Mullinix (Washington, D.C./The George School) won the clincher 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. 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 and Tetsuya Ota (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Saddlebrook Prep_ 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.
Goucher will be making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championships and the Gophers are 2-4 in their previous four trips.
Last year, the team traveled to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts for the NCAA Division III Championships. Goucher defeated Messiah College in the first round 5-0. Dumas and Diehl won at No. 3 doubles 8-2 Diehl won his No. 6 singles match, 6-0, 6-0 while Herman and Mullinix won their No. 2 doubles match and Herman earned a 6-2, 6-0 decision at No. 3 singles. Ota and Jack Hodges won at No. 1 doubles, 8-1, to complete the three doubles sweep on May 11, 2018. Fourth-ranked Williams then defeated the Gophers 5-0.
Herman picked up the team's lone match in a 5-1 loss to John Carroll University on May 12, 2017 at Johns Hopkins University in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Championships.
Diehl and Meekins own an 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles together in a 5-2 victory against Yeshiva College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships at Carnegie Mellon University on May 12, 2016. Goucher then lost to host Carnegie Mellon 3-0 the next day.
The Gophers first made the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship when they earned an at-large bid in 2005. Goucher lost 4-0 to Mary Washington at Swarthmore College in the first round.
NOTES: The first reference is to the movie "White Christmas" when the quartet sits in a box car on their way to a fictional town called Pine Tree, Vermont, singing about snow. The second reference is a paraphrased line from "Christmas Vacation" with a reference to "White Christmas."