PITTSBURGH -- Freshman James Fojtasek scored the winning point in the third set of No. 5 singles, and Case Western Reserve advanced to the NCAA championship tournament Round of 8 for the first time in program history with a 5-4 triumph versus Carnegie Mellon on Sunday at CMU Tennis Courts.
The Spartans (17-7) will now play Middlebury on May 19 at Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California. The final three rounds of the tournament will all take place in the Golden State.
Regional host Carnegie Mellon ends its season at 18-7.
The Spartans built early advantages in all three doubles matches and wound up with a 2-1 lead thanks to wins at No. 2 and No. 3.
Seniors John Healey and Derek Reinbold opened the scoring with an 8-4 victory against Bryce Beisswanger and Kiril Kirkov before CMU picked up the point at No. 1 8-6. Then at No. 3, freshman James Fojtasek and sophomore Louis Stuerke rallied from two down to secure a key 8-6 win against Yuvraj Kumar and Kenny Zheng.
Singles opened with straight-set wins for the Tartans at No. 4 and No. 3, making the score 3-2 in favor of the hosts. Then with his team trailing, Spartan junior Will Drougas won a second-set tiebreaker to defeat Christian Heaney-Secord by counts of 6-3, 7-6. After a CMU three-set win at No. 1, Healey rallied to keep the Spartans alive with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win versus Kunal Wadwani at No. 6.
His two combined wins for the day give Healey 136 for his career, just three behind Kyle Gerber's school record of 139.
Right at that point, Fojtasek was headed to a third set versus Zheng, a fellow freshman. After each player took a set by a score of 7-5, Fojtasek provided the heroics with a 6-2 victory in the third set.