Chen Bai / Observer
No. 13 Spartans look to top 2012’s third place finish, earn NCAA bid
The No. 13 nationally-ranked Case Western Reserve University men’s tennis team has learned that it will enter the upcoming University Athletic Association Championship as the No. 2 seed and play seventh-seeded New York University at 9 a.m. Friday, Apr. 26, at Sanlando Park.
The Spartans (19-5), also ranked second in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region, have reached as high as No. 7 in the nation this spring – the best ranking in school history.
Also on Case’s side of the bracket are third seed, No. 14 Washington University and sixth seed Brandeis University. On the top of the bracket are first seed No. 3 Emory University who play eighth seed University of Rochester. The fourth seed, No. 16 Carnegie Mellon, will take on fifth seed No. 29 University of Chicago.
The team will now try to turn in the best UAA performance in program history after tying their top finish last spring. The Spartans were seeded fourth during the 2012 UAA Championship and upset then No. 2 seed Carnegie Mellon University by a score of 6-3 in the third-place match.
Leading the Spartans into this year’s championship is freshman Christopher Krimbill with an overall singles record of 22-9. Ranked 11th in the ITA Central Region, Krimbill is 6-5 in the No. 1 singles slot, 6-1 at No. 2, and 3-0 at No. 3.
Also seeing time in the top spot, sophomore Will Drougas is 21-11 with a 6-5 mark at No. 1 and a 7-3 record at No. 2. Ranked 15th in the region, Drougas became the first player in team history last season to be named UAA Rookie of the Year. Later in the spring, Drougas was the first CWRU player since 1977 to compete at the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Joining Krimbill and Drougas in the Spartan singles lineup is senior Kyle Gerber, juniors Eric Klawitter and Derek Reinbold, and freshman Harrison Smith.
Gerber, the program’s all-time wins leader with 135, is 19-12 this season with a majority of his matches at No. 3. Klawitter, an All-UAA pick in doubles last season, is 21-10 with significant time at both No. 3 and No. 4. Reinbold is 19-9 overall and 7-1 at No. 5, while Smith is 11-5 with a majority of his matches at No. 6.
In doubles, the No. 1 tandem of junior John Healey and senior Nicolas Howe are ranked second in the region with a 7-4 mark.
Gerber and Krimbill, ranked 11th in the region, are 12-2 overall and 9-2 at No. 2.
Seniors Richard Brunsting and Alex Solove are 15-6 overall with a 6-5 mark at No. 3.
The championship matches are set for Sunday, April 28.