CLEVELAND - The No. 12 Case Western Reserve men's tennis team is seeded fourth in the UAA Men's Tennis Championship and will open play against fifth-seeded University of Chicago on Friday in Altamonte Springs, FL. The match will be played at 9 a.m. at Sanlando Park.
Seven teams enter the UAA Championship nationally ranked with each of the top five seeds ranked among the top 13 teams in NCAA Division III.
The Spartans (15-9) and Maroons are no strangers to one another, having met in the UAA tournament's opening round two of the past three years with CWRU coming out on top both times. The teams also met in a thrilling match earlier this season when the Spartans rallied from 2-1 and 4-3 deficits to earn a 5-4 win at home on Feb. 7.
The Spartans are led by junior CJ Krimbill (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), the second-ranked player in the Central Region, and the program's all-time leader in combined singles and doubles victories. Krimbill is 16-4 in dual matches this season and he and junior Louis Stuerke (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) are the fourth-ranked doubles team in the region with a 17-4 mark at No. 1 doubles.
Senior Will Drougas (Roanoke, Va./Salem), the school's all-time leader in singles victories, is ranked ninth in the region with a 14-7 dual-match record. Drougas has won seven consecutive matches against Division III opponents, having not dropped a singles match against a Division III opponent since Mar. 13 against third-ranked Pomona-Pitzer.
The Spartans struggled in doubles earlier in the season, but have taken the lead into singles in eight consecutive matches against Division III opponents, including five sweeps.
"We love this time of year and have had great battles down in Florida," said head coach Todd Wojtkowski. ""Our seasons are always filled with ups and downs and tons of learning. I feel we always strive to have our best tennis come out at that time of year. The atmosphere is so electric with the courts hiddden in the trees and nationally ranked teams all playing at the same time."
The Maroons (14-4 No. 13 ranking) have dropped only two other matches against Division III opponents (also by a 5-4 score) and have won eight matches against nationally ranked opponents , seven by a score of 7-2 or better.