No. 9 Spartan Men Earn Second Consecutive NCAA Tournament Berth; Receive Bye to Second Round in Pittsburgh on Saturday

The Spartans are in the NCAA Championship Tournament for the second season in a row.
The Spartans are in the NCAA Championship Tournament for the second season in a row.

INDIANAPOLIS – For the second season in a row, the Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team is headed for the NCAA Championship Tournament. The No. 9 nationally ranked Spartans received official word on Monday that they will play in Pittsburgh this weekend with a bye into the second round.

In a six-team regional hosted by University Athletic Association rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.), the Spartans will play on Saturday against the winner of Friday's first round match between Kalamazoo College (Mich.) and Grove City College (Pa.). Carnegie Mellon receives the other bye and awaits the winner of Messiah College (Pa.) and Otterbein University. The winner of the region advances to the Elite 8 in Claremont, California on May 19.

Last season, the Spartans earned the first team NCAA Tournament berth in program history. After receiving a bye into the second round, the Spartans defeated Wilkes University (Pa.) to advance to the Round of 16.

"This is another step towards achieving our ultimate goal," said sixth-year Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski. "We've had a bad taste in our mouths since falling a point shy of the Elite 8 last year. Our guys have established themselves as a top 10 program, now they want to play for a national championship."

The Spartans finished the regular season at 15-7 overall and in fourth place at both the UAA Championship (late April) and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championship (late February). Four of the eight UAA schools have qualified for the NCAA Tournament this season.

Ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation this season, the Spartans are also the second-ranked team in the ITA Central Region behind No. 2 nationally ranked Washington University in St. Louis.

Sophomore Christopher Krimbill (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) is the No. 1 singles player in the region and a member of the No. 2 doubles tandem along with senior Eric Klawitter (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey).

Krimbill is a team-best 23-5 in singles with all of his matches at No. 1. Junior Will Drougas (Roanoke, Va./Salem) is also ranked in the region at No. 13 with an 18-10 record as is Klawitter at No. 23 with a mark of 18-8.

In doubles, Klawitter and Krimbill are 16-2.

In addition to the team selection, the Spartans also await the announcement of the individual championship competitors, which are scheduled to be released on May 7.