SCRANTON - Senior Brian Harkins (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) was a winner at both doubles and singles to keep The University of Scranton men's tennis team alive against Drew on Wednesday, but the visiting Rangers pulled out a 5-4 Landmark Conference victory at a windy Royal Courts.
With the defeat, Scranton dropped to 5-6 overall and 1-2 in the Landmark Conference. Drew, meanwhile, improved to 11-4 and 2-1 in the Landmark with the win.
Things started off well for Drew in doubles play against the Royals, as the Rangers took victories over Scranton in the first and third flights to go up, 2-0, in the match.
The Royals, however, ended doubles strong with an 8-2 win at number two, which was recorded by Harkins and graduate student Christian Aksu (Exton, Pa./West Chester East) to slice the Drew lead down to 2-1 entering singles.
In singles action, Scranton dominated in the middle of the line-up, winning matches at numbers two, three and four flights.
At number two, senior Alexander Ochalski (Hopewell, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) was a straight set victor (6-0, 6-2), while fellow senior Charles Swope (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) was also a straight-set victor in the number three spot of the line-up (7-6 (7-4), 6-3). Finally, at number four, Harkins became a two-time winner on the day with a 6-0, 6-1 win.
But, Drew controlled action in the three other singles matches to take the match, 5-4. The Rangers were able to collect a pair of three-set victories at number one and number five singles then clinched the match with a straight-set win in the sixth flight.
The University of Scranton men's tennis team returns to action on Saturday, as they take on Susquehanna in a Landmark Conference tilt at Royals Courts. Action gets underway at 1 p.m.