No. 14 Spartans Open Spring with 7-2 Win over Oberlin

(photo by Alex Slitz)
(photo by Alex Slitz)

The Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team, ranked 14th among NCAA Division III squads, opened its 2016 spring season with a 7-2 win over Oberlin College at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio on Saturday evening.

The Spartans raised their season record to 1-0, while Oberlin dropped to 5-2.

CWRU opened play by winning two of the three doubles matches.  Claiming a win at first doubles was the Spartans duo of seniors CJ Krimbill and Louis Stuerke, who defeated Oberlin's Ian Paik and Jeremy Lichtmacher 8-5.  Also winning for CWRU were juniors James Fojtasek and Phil Gruber, who claimed an 8-4 win at third doubles over Robert Gittings and Michael Drougas.  The Spartans' lone doubles loss came in the second match, where juniors Adam Collins and Freddy Daum dropped an 8-4 decision to Callan Louis and Abraham Davis.

In singles play, Krimbill started the Spartans off on a good note with a straight-set win over Paik in the first match, 6-1, 6-2.  Stuerke followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win at fourth singles over Davis, and junior Joshua Dughi clinched the overall victory for the Spartans with a 6-2, 6-2 win at no. 6 singles, pushing the CWRU lead to 5-1.

Rounding out the Spartans team win, junior Kevin Dong bested Manickam Manickam 6-2, 7-5 in the fifth singles match and Fojtasek defeated Drougas 7-5, 6-4 at second singles.  In a three-set nail-biter, freshman Robert Stroup dropped a 6-1, 2-6, 10-6 third singles match to Louis to end the day.

The Spartans will now turn their attention towards next weekend's 2016 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Indoor Championships.  Case Western Reserve University will play host to the event at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, with eight of the top-15 ranked teams in the country slated to be in action.  The Spartans will open play at the ITA Indoor Nationals against the top seed and third-ranked Washington University (Mo.) at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 19th.