MN to Host ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship
20 Feb, 2015
The 15th annual ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College gets underway Friday, Feb. 20 in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties will host for the 11th time in the history of the national championship.
Last season, the Washington-St. Louis Bears claimed their first ever title in their fourth appearance in the championship match, defeating Johns Hopkins 6-3 in the final. The Bears became the fifth team to ever hoist the trophy, with Emory, Gustavus Adolphus and UC Santa Cruz having won multiple championships and Kenyon taking home their first and only title in 2013.
The winners of Friday's matches advance to the semifinals, which are slated for Saturday at 2pm CT. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 9am CT. For the complete draw, click here.
For complete coverage of the 2015 ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship, including links to live scores, photos and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, and like the ITA on Facebook for updates and news from the weekend's events. Use the hashtag #D3Indoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "D3Indoors" to find others who are tweeting from across the nation about this year's Championship, Feb. 20-22.
Below is an in-depth look at the eight teams in the hunt for the 2015 ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship title.
ITA Ranking: 9
Tournament Seed: 6
1st Round Opponent: Emory
The Carnegie Mellon men's tennis team, ranked ninth nationally, has an overall record of 4-2 so far this season. The Tartans two losses were a 5-4 setback against defending NCAA Division III national champion Amherst and a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Division I Duquesne. Most recently, Carnegie Mellon claimed a 4-3 victory over St. Franics (PA), another Division I squad. The Tartans are led by junior Abhishek Alla, who is ranked third in the ITA Atlantic South Region and 11th in the nation in singles. Alla brings a record of 10-6 into the weekend. Carnegie Mellon's top doubles duo of senior Bryce Beisswanger and junior Yuvraj Kumar are also ranked third in the Atlantic South Region along with checking in at tenth in the ITA Division III Men's National Doubles Rankings. They bring a 9-3 record into the event, including winning four of their last five.
Case Western Reserve
ITA Ranking: 8
Tournament Seed: 5
1st Round Opponent: Johns Hopkins
Ranked eighth in the nation and second in the ITA Central Region, Case Western Reserve defeated No. 17 Chicago, 5-4, in its last match back on February 7. Junior CJ Krimbill, a three-time ITA All-American, is 8-2 in singles this season with a perfect 4-0 dual match record in the first singles spot. Krimbill and classmate Louis Stuerke, ranked 11th in the nation for doubles, are 8-2 overall and 3-1 in duals in the top position. The Spartans placed fourth at last season's ITA Division III National Team Indoor Championship and reached the quarterfinals in the NCAA Division III Championship.
ITA Ranking: 6
Tournament Seed: 3
1st Round Opponent: Carnegie Mellon
The No. 6-ranked Emory men's tennis team will be making its 15th appearance at the National Indoor Championships and aiming to bring home the program's sixth title. The Eagles' most recent ITA Indoor crown came in 2012. Head coach John Browning is in his 16th season directing the fortunes of the program, and he has three national titles to his credit along with 12 University Athletic Association championships. Emory welcomes back 11 letterwinners from the 2014 team that finished with a 19-7 dual record and that advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championship. The senior trio of Alex Ruderman, Eric Halpern and Ian Wagner will anchor the singles lineup with the group combining for over 185 wins during the careers. This past fall, Ruderman captured the ITA South Region singles title and joined forces with Wagner to win the doubles draw of the tournament.
ITA Ranking: 14
Tournament Seed: 8
1st Round Opponent: Trinity (TX)
The Gustavus Adolphus Gusties are coming off a 2014 season in which they claimed a 26th consecutive MIAC Championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gusties swept past UW-Whitewater in the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Trinity (TX) 5-3 in the regional final. Gustavus concluded the year with an overall record of 29-6, which is the program's best finish under head coach Tommy Valentini. The Gusties feature a mix of veteran leadership and young talent in this year's lineup. Leading the way is senior Motasem Al-Houni, who is ranked eighth in the ITA Division III Men's National Singles Rankings. Al-Houni and sophomore Andres Saenz are also ranked sixth nationally in doubles. Gustavus is currently 3-2 so far this season after a 1-2 showing during the season-opening trip to Florida and a 2-0 performance at home last weekend.
ITA Ranking: 7
Tournament Seed: 4
1st Round Opponent: Case Western Reserve
The Johns Hopkins men's tennis team has had tremendous success under head coach Chuck Willenborg. The Blue Jays have won 173 matches (173-47) in their 10 years under Willenborg's direction, including 85 conference wins (85-2). Hopkins has won nine Centennial Conference titles and made nine NCAA Division III Championship appearances, including six round of 16 trips and a pair of semifinal runs. Johns Hopkins has also produced 21 ITA All-Americans as well as 66 All-Centennial Conference selections. Last season, Hopkins went 20-5 and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals before falling to top-ranked and host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Blue Jays are led by sophomore Mike Buxbaum, who won both the singles and doubles crowns at the 2014 USTA/ITA Southeast Region Championships and is currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in singles and doubles.
ITA Ranking: 12
Tournament Seed: 7
1st Round Opponent: Washington-St. Louis
The Kenyon College Lords have won 12 of the last 13 North Coast Athletic Conference championships and have made appearances in the last 13 consecutive NCAA Division III Championships. In three of the last four seasons, Kenyon advanced to the NCAA quarterfinal round or beyond. In 2012, the team finished as the national runner-up. Over the last five seasons, Kenyon had eight singles players and two doubles teams compete in respective NCAA tournaments. Last season, the Lords earned a No. 12 national rank and posted a 19-8 record, bringing the program's combined total record to 107-28 over the last five seasons.
ITA Ranking: 3
Tournament Seed: 1
1st Round Opponent: Gustavus Adolphus
The Trinity (TX) Tigers men's tennis team is led by sixth-year head coach Russell McMindes. Last season, Coach McMindes led the Tigers to the semifinals and a third-place finish in the NCAA Division III Championship despite being seeded eighth. Trinity upset No.3 Middlebury 5-4 in the third place match. It was the first time since 2000 that the Tigers had reached the semifinals in the NCAA Championship. In the fall, Jordan Mayer and Aaron Skinner won the Division III Men's Doubles Championship at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, marking Trinity's fourth ITA national doubles crown in program history. It was also the second national title for Skinner, who won the Division III Men's Singles Championship at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. Trinity boasts five players who have garnered All-America honors from the ITA at least once in their careers.
Washington University - St. Louis
ITA Ranking: 5
Tournament Seed: 2
1st Round Opponent: Kenyon
Fifth-ranked Washington University-St. Louis enters the ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship with a 2-0 record after wins over NCAA Division II McKendree (6-3) and No. 24 DePauw (8-1). The Bears return 10 letterwinners and five starters from a year ago. Junior Tyler Kratky is one of five singles players ranked in the top 50 nationally. Kratky opens the spring season ranked 14th after falling in the 2014 USTA/ITA Central Region Singles Championship. Freshman Johnny Wu (26th), senior Ross Putterman (37th), sophomore Jeremy Bush (45th), and senior Kevin Chu (48th) are also ranked in the ITA Division III National Men's Singles Rankings.
About the ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship: The ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship is held annually each February. The men's event began in 2001 and will be held for the 15th time in 2015. The event features eight participating teams and is held over three days, beginning on Friday with the quarterfinals, followed by semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. Four different schools have hosted the event, while Emory (5), Gustavus Adolphus (4), UC Santa Cruz (3), Kenyon (1), and most recently Washington-St. Louis (1) are past champions.