No. 13 Spartan Men Complete Successful Weekend at Purdue and Oberlin

James Fojtasek
James Fojtasek

CLEVELAND – The Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team competed as a split-squad this past weekend with nine individuals at the Purdue Fall Invitational and 11 student-athletes at the Oberlin Invite.

NCAA Division I Purdue University held its annual fall invitational from Friday-Sunday, September 20-22 at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Oberlin College's annual invitational took place on the Don Hunsinger Courts on Saturday and Sunday in Oberlin.

The Spartans followed their impressive performance at last weekend's Kenyon College Invitational by sending three singles players to at least the quarterfinals at Purdue in one of the Midwest Region's premier events. Freshman James Fojtasek (Cypress, Tex./Cypress Woods) reached the semifinals in Flight E before retiring with an injury.

Fojtasek defeated Rudy Frazier of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis by a tally of 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. Fojtasek then went on to defeat Kai Skallerud of rival Washington University-St. Louis by the same score and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne's Derek Romer by a 6-4, 6-2 tally in the quarterfinals.

Freshman Phil Gruber (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) advanced to the quarterfinals of Flight D, while junior Bas van Lent (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) fell in the quarterfinals of Flight E.

Gruber defeated IUPFW's Connor Andrews 6-4, 6-4 in the first round before knocking off Ryan Jorgensen of the University of Toledo by a score of 6-2, 6-4. Gruber lost to Michael Savaglio of Valparaiso University (Ind.) by a 6-1, 6-2 tally in the final eight.

van Lent lost an exhausting first game (6-7) to Valparaiso's Danny Oakes before claiming the final two games 6-3, 6-0. van Lent then beat Jacob Bradley of IUPUI by a tally of 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 before falling to Kristian Trukov of Marquette University (Wis.), 6-1, 7-5.

At Oberlin, five Spartans finished the weekend undefeated. Senior Trent Searfoss (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) joined sophomores Louis Stuerke (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) and Samuel Shi (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon) as well as freshmen Joshua Dughi (Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglades) and Adam Collins (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) with perfect 3-0 singles records.

In doubles, the team of Stuerke and Searfoss as well as Dughi and freshman Wesley Maddox (Evans, Ga./Westminster Schools of Augusta) each went 2-1 for the weekend.

The Spartan men conclude the fall at next weekend's United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championship in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The event will run from Sept. 27-29.

Last fall, the Spartans turned in the best performance in school history at the ITA meet.