SKILLMAN, N.J. – Following a fifth-place performance at the 2011 University Athletic Association Championship Tournament, the Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team now knows that its season ended with the highest ranking in program history. The Spartans were tabbed No. 20 in the nation according to the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association national team rankings released on April 14.
"This was by far the biggest leap that this program has taken in my time here," said third-year head coach Todd Wojtkowski. "It takes time to build programs that are also sustainable. This season, we were finally able put together enough depth that allowed us to win matches despite some players having off days or being sick or hurt."
The Spartans (12-8 overall, 2-1 UAA) earned CWRU's first-ever national tennis ranking back in early March and built on that standing with a stellar conclusion to the 2010-11 campaign.
In addition to the fifth-place showing at the UAA Championship, the Spartans also finished the season with four victories versus top-30 competition and placed third at the renowned Great Lakes Invitational in Michigan. Case's 12 victories came while playing one of the toughest schedules in team history with eight nationally-ranked opponents and four matches against Division I competition.
"Each of our four top-30 victories came down to the final match at sixth singles," noted Wojtkowski. "We had three different players clinch a match against a nationally-ranked opponent and that really speaks to the depth of our team."
The Spartans also finished the season with the No. 18-ranked singles player in the Central Region in junior Sean Carr (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington) and the No. 7 duo in the region in freshman John Healey (Columbia, MD/Atholton) and sophomore Nicolas Howe (Shaker Heights, OH/Shaker Heights).
"We have a player's handbook that discusses many of the different goals and objectives of the program and the points that are stressed most in it are those of improvement and development," said Wojtkowski. "I feel we had another year where we took a major step in our development but yet have more goals in there that we will be hungry to achieve in our preparation for next season."