WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team kicked off its 2010-11 slate this weekend at the Purdue University (IN) Fall Invitational at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The tournament field was comprised mostly of Division I institutions and featured some of the top teams from throughout the region.
Over three days of competition, the Spartans competed with the likes of University of Arkansas, DePaul University (IL), University of Dayton, University of Iowa, Morehead State University (KY), University of Notre Dame (IN),Southern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Valparaiso University (IN), Vincennes University (IN) and Western Michigan University.
Case had a rocky start to the tourney on Friday, going 0-10 in match play. But, Saturday's draw saw the Spartans put together a 12-5 team record against mostly Division I talent. The team also went 4-5 in Sunday's matches.
"We wanted to test ourselves going into regionals and our guys really stepped up," said head coach Todd Wojtkowski. "We took over the B and C consolation brackets, and our freshmen played very inspired and motivated. This was a huge confidence builder going into regionals."
In the Flight B consolation draw, freshman John Healey (Columbia,MD/Atholton) advanced to the semifinal match before falling 6-1, 6-2 to WMU's Ross Vanderploeg. Sophomore Nic Howe (Shaker Heights/Shaker Heights) also won two matches in the consolation bracket before dropping his semifinal matchup 6-2, 6-0 against UW-Green Bay's Craig Cox.
Competing in the Flight C main draw, sophomore Richard Brunsting (Nashville, TN/Montgomery Bell Academy) and junior Paul Smetona (Cleveland, OH/University) squared off in an all-Spartan semifinal. Brunsting came away the winner by a score of 6-3, 6-2 and would go on to defeat freshman Eric Klawitter (Arlington Heights, OH/John Hershey), 8-1, in the finals.
For the weekend, Brunsting was 4-1, Klawitter was 3-2, and Healey was 2-2.
The Spartans will now have a week to prepare for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regionals at Kalamazoo College (MI) on Friday-Sunday, September 24-26.