Courtesy of Goucher Athletic Communications
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 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 won at No. 5 singles 6-0, 6-2 to give the Gophers a 3-1 lead and Brian Kane 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 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 lost at No. 2 doubles in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-2) to tie the match at 1.
Ota and Michael Herman 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 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.