Racking up the awards
Amherst's Joey Fritz continues strong showing at nationals
CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Amherst senior Joey Fritz advanced to the singles quarterfinals Thursday at the NCAA Division III championships at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.
Fritz, the tournament's No. 2 seed, first beat Skyler Butts of host Claremont-M-S 6-4, 6-3; and then took out Carnegie Mellon's Abhishek Alla 6-4, 6-2 in the Round of 16.
On Wednesday, Fritz played No. 1 singles for the Lord Jeffs, who captured the NCAA team championship with a 5-3 victory against the Claremont-M-S Stags. Fritz provided the clincher with a win against Warren Wood, who also happens to be the top seed in the individual tournament.
During the tournament, it was also announced that Fritz was selected as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Senior Player of the Year.
"Being Senior Player of the Year is icing on the cake for everything else," said Fritz, who hails from Cincinnati. "We fought our hardest to get ready to win a national championship."
In the 2013 NCAA singles draw at Kalamazoo, Michigan, Fritz lost in the opening round.
"Last year was really tough, moving from the team championship to the individuals," Fritz said. "This year, I tried especially hard to be ready for it. I feel really solid and good. It's the last tournament, and I'm trying to enjoy it."
Fritz also felt good after the first round of doubles, after he and fellow senior Justin Reindel upset the third-seeded team of Michael Buxbaum and Emerson Walsh of Johns Hopkins 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Come Sunday, Fritz will receive a bachelor's degree from Amherst in Asian languages and civilizations. He may have to take a redeye flight to make the ceremony at Amherst, Massachusetts. Later. Fritz will work in Beijing, China, for Admissionado, an education consulting firm which advises Chinese students how to get into American universities.
In other singles action, the top-seeded Wood of C-M-S advanced to the singles quarterfinals, and meets No. 5 Chris Krimbill of Case Western Reserve. Third-seeded Alex Ruderman of Emory fell to Moises Cardenas of Cal Lutheran, who in turn lost to Kenyon's Wade Heerboth. His opponent will be Joe Dorn of C-M-S.
Colby's Carl Reid, who beat sixth-seeded Paxton Deuel of Trinity (Texas) in the opening round, is matched against Nikolas Marino of C-M-S in the quarters.
In doubles, top seeds Warren and Joe Dorn of C-MS were outlasted 6-4,5-7, 6-4 by Wisconsin-Whitewater's Byron Balkin and Jake Humphreys.