EDITOR'S NOTE: Updates with Scranton facing Goucher in Saturday's Landmark Conference Championship match.
In the span of about 90 seconds, The University of Scranton men's tennis team went from a tie match against Juniata on Wednesday to advancing to this weekend's Landmark Conference championship.
Junior Brian Harkins (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) and freshmen Tarquin McGurrin (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Prep) and Connor Lemieux (Guilford, Conn./The Gunnery) posted singles victories nearly simultaneously to clinch second-seeded Scranton's first trip to the Landmark championship since 2013. The Royals will face top-seeded Goucher on Saturday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.
McGurrin was a two-time winner for the Royals (13-3), as he teamed with his brother, senior Keller McGurrin (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) to post an 8-4 win at no. 1 doubles. The pairing of senior Christian Aksu (Exton, Pa./West Chester East) and junior Charles Swope (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) rolled to an 8-0 win at no. 3 doubles as the Royals led, 2-1, after doubles play.
Juniata (10-8) evened up the match with a quick win at no. 2 singles, but Scranton held a lead in the other five singles matches as they each headed into the second set. Harkins was the next Royal off the court, posting a 6-0, 6-0 win at no. 5 singles. Tarquin McGurrin was right behind him with a 6-1, 6-1 win at no. 1, and in the blink of an eye, Lemieux ended the match when he completed a 6-0, 6-0 win at no. 6.
Scranton will be aiming for its first-ever conference championship when the Royals face Goucher on Saturday. The Gophers were a 5-0 winner over Susquehanna in Wednesday's other semifinal match.