Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Oct. 7: James Hopper and Matthew Chen

Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Oct. 7: James Hopper and Matthew Chen

The Spartan Club, comprised of Case Institute of Technology (CIT), Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) alumni, parents of current students, faculty and staff, and friends of the University, is aimed at helping foster and honor the proud tradition of athletics at the University, while also supporting the current student-athletes.  For more information on the Spartan Club, and to help support its purpose by becoming a member, CLICK HERE.

Case Western Reserve University freshman James Hopper, a member of the men’s tennis team, and junior Matthew Chen, a member of the men’s tennis team, have been named the Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for their performances this past weekend.

Hopper and Chen claimed the doubles title at the 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Fall Central Region Championships this weekend, becoming the first players in program history to win the regional title.  Hours later, Hopper claimed the singles championship, becoming the first player in CWRU history (men’s or women’s teams) to accomplish the feat.  In the doubles draw, Hopper and Chen, seeded fifth overall, topped third-seeded Tyler Raclin and Joshua Xu 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 to claim the title.  Hopper, unseeded entering the tournament, secured the singles championship with a straight-set victory, defeating Kenyon’s Jacob Zalenski (seeded second in the draw) 7-5, 6-4 in the title match.  Hopper finished the tournament with a 6-0 singles record and a 5-0 mark in doubles play, improving to 14-0 in singles matches to begin his career, and to 12-0 in doubles contests.  He bested four seeded singles players on the way to the title – no. 1 Ethan Hillis (Washington), no. 2 Zalenski, no. 9 Timothy Cianciola (Denison) and no. 9 l Li – and combined with Chen to top three-seeded doubles teams –  no. 1 Ninan Kumar and Erik Kerrigan (Chicago), no. 3 Raclin and Xu, and no. 4 Neves and van der Sman.  Chen also improved to 12-0 on the year in doubles matches.  Hopper and Chen, who each earned All-America honors based on winning the Regional Championship, will advance to the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia from October 17-20. 

The Spartan Club Athletes of the Week are selected by the CWRU Department of Athletics each Monday, based on their performance during the previous week of competition.

Honorable Mention: Drew Saxton (football) helped lead the Spartans on a fourth-quarter comeback in a 21-13 win over Westminster College at DiSanto Field on Saturday night.  Saxton completed 25-of-39 passes for a season-high 301 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to Colt Morgan with 11:39 left in the game that helped turn a six-point deficit into a one-point lead.  It was the seventh-career 300-yard passing game for Saxton, who has now completed 61.7% of his passes this season for 992 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.  Saxton and the Spartans improved to 4-0 on the year following the win, and took sole possession of first-place in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference with a 3-0 league record.

Travis Johnston (football) helped the Spartans’ defense hold the Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s top-scoring offense entering the game to just two touchdowns in a 21-13 win over Westminster College on Saturday night at DiSanto Field.  Johnston filled up the box score in the game, leading the team with a season-high 11 tackles (seven solo), while also adding an interception, a forced fumble and two pass breakups.  After being held to just two tackles in the first half, Johnston forced a fumble that was recovered by the Spartans on the Titans’ first drive of the third quarter.  After CWRU grabbed a one-point lead with 11:39 left in the game, he helped cement the victory, intercepting a pass at the Spartans’ 36 yard line and returning it to the 48.  He also broke up a pass on a fourth down play with 1:45 left to force the Titans to turn the ball over on downs late in the contest, and had a tackle on a Westminster fourth-and-16 play to force a second turnover on downs with 1:34 to go, the final offensive play of the day for the Titans.  For the season, Johnston has totaled 24 tackles (13 solo) over three games.

Trey Razanauskas (men’s cross country) led the 18th-ranked Spartans to a 10th-place finish out of 40 teams at the Live in Lou Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday.  Razanauskas was the team’s top overall finisher in the 8K race, placing 19th out of 276 runners with a time of 24:52.3.  The time was his career-best mark at the distance.

Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country) was the top finisher for the 22nd-ranked Spartans at the Live at Lou Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday.  Lindemann helped CWRU place seventh out of 37 teams at the race, but no individual times or places were recorded, due to an error in the running of the course.

Katie Kaminski (volleyball) helped the Spartans post a 1-1 record during the second UAA Round Robin this past weekend. Kaminski recorded 27 kills throughout the two matches and posted a team-best .348 hitting percentage. In addition, Kaminski gathered a team-high eight total blocks, including three solo. In CWRU’s 3-2 victory over Brandeis on Sunday, Kaminski totaled a season-high 19 kills on 41 total attempts for a .415 hitting percentage. She also added a season-best 18 digs throughout the match. For the season, Kaminski currently ranks fourth among all University Athletic Association players with a .339 hitting percentage. Case Western Reserve moved to 6-12 overall and 1-4 in the UAA.

Jana Giaquinto (volleyball) helped the Spartans collect a win at the second UAA Round Robin this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. She led CWRU with 60 digs (6.00 per set), and also tallied four assists and two service aces. In the Spartans’ 3-2 win over Brandeis, Giaquinto led the team with a career-high 36 digs.

Shreyaa Mukund (women’s tennis) helped the Spartans split a pair of matches this past weekend. In CWRU’s 6-3 win over Christopher Newport, Mukund defeated Ana Clara Borga 6-1, 7-5 at sixth singles. For the season, Mukund has totaled a 5-1 overall record in singles play. The Spartans moved to 1-1 on the season and will resume play in 2020, opening their spring season on the road at Hope College on February 15th.

Calvin Tecson (men’s swimming & diving) led the CWRU men at the Spartan Relay Meet on Friday. Tecson was a member of the 500-yard freestyle relay team that finished first with a time of 4:20.72. In addition, Tecson was a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that won the event with a time of 3:15.64.

Kelly Moton (women’s swimming & diving) led the CWRU women at the Spartan Relay Meet on Friday. Moton was a member of the 3x100 breaststroke relay team that finished first with a time of 3:35.91. In addition, Moton was a member of the 400-yard medley relay team that won the event with a time of 4:11.28.

2019-20 Spartan Club Athletes of the Week:

September 3rd: Spencer Weigand (men’s cross country) & Anika Washburn (women’s soccer)

September 9th: Colt Morgan (football) & Haley Sims (volleyball)

September 16th: Nathan Ekberg (men’s soccer) & Kimberly Chen (women’s soccer)

September 23rd: Zachary Senft (men’s soccer) & Trisha Sundaram (women’s tennis)

September 30th: Cameron Brown (football) & Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country)

October 7th: James Hopper (men’s tennis) & Matthew Chen (Men’s Tennis)