CWRU Men’s Tennis Kicks off Fall Season this Weekend

CWRU Men’s Tennis Kicks off Fall Season this Weekend

Coming off one of the best seasons in the program's history, the Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team will set its 2016 fall season in motion this weekend, when the team travels for a pair of tournament.

The Spartans will be split between the two weekend competitions, with part of the squad headed to the Greater Cincinnati Invitational at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio from Friday, September 16th through Sunday, September 18th, while the rest of the team is scheduled to take part in the Oberlin College Invitational in Oberlin, Ohio on Saturday and Sunday.

Last year, the Spartans went 22-8 to tie the program record for wins in a season, while advancing to the round of 16 of the NCAA Division III Championships.  The team was ranked as high as fifth during the year, the highest national ranking in the program's history, and ended the year ranked eighth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) DIII rankings.

The 2016-17 Spartans will have to overcome the loss of two of the top players in program history, following the graduation of All-Americans CJ Krimbill and Louis Stuerke.  In addition, senior James Fojtasek, who ended last season as the 48th-ranked singles player in Division III and 14th in the Central Region with an 18-9 overall record, will not be competing for the squad in the fall as he participates in a Co-op Program during the semester.

However, Case Western Reserve will be returning a strong core of players from last year's team, including five seniors, in addition to Fojtasek, and five sophomores.  Included in the group are five players who all saw extensive time in the team's starting singles lineup last year in seniors Kevin Dong, Josh Dughi, Fred Daum and Phillip Gruber, and sophomore Rob Stroup.

In addition, Gruber was an all-UAA second team selection (along with Fojtasek) for his play at second doubles, while sophomores John Benedetto and David Zakhodin went 11-4 as a pairing last year, including 11-3 in third doubles contests.  Seniors Adam Collins and Gabriel Murcia and sophomores Oludayo Areke and Tyler Holsopple will all bring additional depth and experience to the CWRU lineup.

Adding an infusion of talented youth to the team will be the squad's freshman class, which consists of nine new players – Sam Concannon, Zach Hennessey, Varun Jayaram, Anthony Kanam, Rohith Koneru, Rajeev Laungani, Joshua Piatos, Siddharth Rajupet and Henry Squire.

Following this weekend's action, the Spartans will take part in the ITA Central Region Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan and the Purdue Fall Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana from Friday, September 23rd through Monday, September 26th, and then wrap-up the fall at the Toledo Invitational in Toledo, Ohio from Friday, September 30th through Saturday, October 1st, in addition to hosting the CWRU Invitational on October 1st.

Results and a recap of the Spartans' performances during this weekend's tournaments will be posted to athletics.case.edu following the completion of competition on Sunday.