|Christian Aksu||Brian Harkins|
TOWSON, Md. - Host and top-seeded Goucher won two of three doubles matches, then captured three singles matches in straight sets to get past The University of Scranton men's tennis team by a 5-1 score in the 2019 Landmark Conference championship match on Saturday.
With the loss, Scranton ends their 2018-19 season with an 11-8 overall mark. Goucher, meanwhile, won their fourth straight Landmark Conference title with the win, improving to 17-3 overall for the year.
In doubles play, Goucher got off to a good start by collecting an 8-0 win in the second flight, then collected an 8-6 victory in the first flight. But, in the third flight, the team of graduate student Christian Aksu (Exton, Pa./West Chester East) and senior Brian Harkins (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) gutted out an 8-7 win on a tie-break (7-3) to put the Royals on the board entering singles play.
But, in singles, Goucher won in straight sets in the fifth (6-0, 6-2), sixth (6-1, 6-1) and third (6-4, 6-3) flights to capture the Landmark Conference title.
Despite losing the title match at Goucher for the second straight year, it was another banner season for the Royals in 2018-19.
Saturday's match was also the final one at Scranton for four players - Aksu, Harkins, Charles Swope (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) and Alexander Ochalski (Hopewell, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central). The group will end their careers leading Scranton to the Landmark Conference playoffs three times, making the title match in each of the last two seasons. Harkins also ends his career tied for second for most career singles victories with 56, as he finished the season winning 13 straight singles contests.