The seventh-ranked Case Western Reserve University Spartans opened their postseason play on Saturday, claiming a 5-0 win over Franciscan University in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships at the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio.
With the win, the Spartans will advance to the third round of the NCAA Championships for the third time in the program's history, as Case Western Reserve improved to 4-2 all-time in postseason play. The Spartans, now 22-7 for the campaign, will face the winner of the second-round contest between 17th-ranked Kenyon College and 35th-ranked Kalamazoo College in the third round on Sunday, May 14th at 1:00 p.m. in Cleveland.
Play on Saturday was forced indoors from the Carlton Courts to the indoor facilities at Cleveland State University due to rain in the area.
The Spartans jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the match after sweeping the three doubles contests. Freshman David Zakhodin and John Benedetto were the first to finish, topping Franciscan's Connor Jooste and Richard Watson 8-1. Minutes later, junior Phil Gruber and James Fojtasek extended CWRU's lead to 2-0 with an 8-1 win at second doubles over Zachary Quiza and David Freytag. At first singles, senior CJ Krimbill and Louis Stuerke closed out the sweep with an 8-2 win over Jarek Sulak and John Gallagher.
Case Western Reserve's dominance continued into singles play. Krimbill quickly won the first singles match without dropping a game, 6-0, 6-0 over Quiza, and at fifth singles, junior Joshua Dughi topped Jooste 6-0, 6-1 to clinch the team win.
At the time play was stopped, the Spartans were up a set on the other four courts. Fojtasek was leading Sulak 6-1, 2-0 at second singles, freshman Robert Stroup was up 6-0, 4-0 at third singles over Gallagher, Stuerke held a 6-0, 5-1 advantage at fourth singles over Freytag, and Gruber was leading Watson 6-0, 5-0 at sixth singles.
Franciscan, the 2016 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Champions, closed their 2016 campaign with an overall record of 12-10.