No. 13 Spartan Men Defeat No. 16 CMU to Match Best UAA Finish in Program History

CJ Krimbill is ranked 11th in the ITA Central region.
CJ Krimbill is ranked 11th in the ITA Central region.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Freshman No. 1 singles player Christopher Krimbill (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) secured the winning point in the third set of his match as the No. 13 nationally-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team defeated No. 16 Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) by a 6-3 score in the third-place match of the 2013 University Athletic Association Championship at Sanlando Park. The Spartans equal the top conference finish in program history and also bolster their resume for an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament.

The second-seeded Spartans (21-6 overall, 2-1 UAA) finish third for the second season in a row and the third time in program history (1999, 2012, 2013), while the fourth-seeded Tartans drop to 13-7 overall and 1-2 in the Association.

Case grabbed a 2-1 lead in doubles action with wins at the top-two positions. At No. 2, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region's 11th-ranked tandem of senior Kyle Gerber (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) and Krimbill were the first to finish and edged past the Tartan team of Thomas Cooper and Jooho Yu, 8-6. The first flight featured a matchup between a pair of regionally-ranked duos with junior John Healey (Columbia, Md./Atholton) and senior Nicolas Howe (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights), ranked No. 2 in the Central, defeated the Atlantic South's sixth-ranked tandem of Duke Miller and Christian Heaney-Secord.

In singles, the Tartans tied the match at 2-2 with a victory at No. 3.

However, the Spartans regained the lead at 4-2 with victories at No. 5 by Healey versus Kosuke Hasegawa by scores of 6-1, 7-5 and at No. 4 as junior Eric Klawitter (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey) won by tallies of 6-4, 6-2 versus Yuvraj Kumar.

At No. 6, the Tartans pulled to within one at 4-3 as the match came down to play in the top-two singles matches. At No. 1, Krimbill lost the first set versus Heaney-Secord, 6-3, but battled back and evened the match with a 7-5 second-set win. The first-year Spartan then secured the team victory and cruised in the decisive set, 6-0.

In the final match on the court, sophomore Will Drougas (Roanoke, Va./Salem) won the opening set versus Abhishek Alla by a 6-2 score, but fell in the second set, 7-6. Not done yet, Drougas battled Alla into a decisive tiebreaker and grabbed the sixth point with a 7-6 win.

The Spartans, who added to their school-record win total Sunday, now await word from the NCAA Championship selection committee with qualifying teams expected to be announced via a press release on Monday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. on NCAA.com. Individual qualifiers will be announced on Wednesday, May 8.