First ITA Rankings of the Season Pin Spartan Men at No. 19 in the Nation
SKILLMAN, N.J. – The first Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings of 2011-12 have been released, and the Case Western Reserve University men are No. 19 in the nation – the highest team ranking in program history.
The Spartans, 2-0 during fall dual matches, ended last spring at No. 20 in the national poll. In addition to its two 9-0 victories this fall, Case also turned in impressive showings at the Washington & Lee University (Va.) Invitational, the Purdue University (Ind.) Invitational, and the United States Tennis Association/ITA Central Region Championship.
Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski's Spartans are also ranked No. 5 in a stacked ITA Central Region with three players ranked in the singles poll. Maybe even more impressive is Case's three doubles tandems ranked in the region's Top 15.
"Not only do we have our highest national ranking, we also have the most players ranked in the region in program history," said Wojtkowski. "Our men have placed themselves in a great position, and we want to keep this momentum rolling all the way through the spring. Our goal at season's end is to be playing in the NCAA Tournament, and we are excited about improving and working towards that goal."
Freshman Will Drougas (Roanoke, Va./Salem), who advanced to the quarterfinals during the regional championship, is ranked 12th. The first-year Spartan posted a team-high 10 wins (10-5 overall) during the fall and was named UAA Player of the Week on September 19 after posting a 3-2 record against strictly Division I competition at Purdue.
Junior Kyle Gerber (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) is 23rd in the region and senior Sean Carr (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) is 27th. Gerber was 7-4 during the fall and advanced to the round of 16 during the regional championship. Carr, Case's No. 1 singles player as a junior, posted a 5-4 record this fall.
Drougas and sophomore Eric Klawitter (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hershey) are the No. 10 doubles team in the region, one spot ahead of Carr and junior Richard Brunsting (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy). Gerber and junior Nicolas Howe (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) are 14th.
Drougas and Klawitter were 6-3 during the fall, Gerber and Howe were 6-4, and Carr and Brunsting were 5-4.
The Spartans open the 2012 portion of the schedule on Friday, February 10 versus No. 7 nationally-ranked Kenyon College at 7:30 p.m. in Gambier, Ohio. Case also plays No. 12 North Carolina Wesleyan University that weekend in Gambier on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2:00 p.m.