CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Second-seeded Joey Fritz of Amherst emerged as the NCAA Division III singles champion Saturday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.
Fritz won the coveted prize with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against top seed Warren Wood of the host Claremont-M-Sc Stags.He attained the distinction of winning the first NCAA men's singles title for Amherst.
On Wednesday, Fritz was a major contributor as his Lord Jeffs won the NCAA team championship, beating the hometown Stags 5-3.
"Going into this week, the team championship means everything to us," Fritz said. "This individual championship is great, but it's icing on the cake. In the [singles final] match, that is probably the best I have served all week. I needed it because my legs were really tired."
Fritz advanced to the finals by winning each pairing in straight sets, as did Wood.
"This week, I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment," added Fritz, who was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Senior Player of the Year. "I sometimes tend to be tight."
In June, Fritz, from Cincinnati, heads to Beijing, China, where he will work for Admissionado, an organization which helps Chinese students gain admission to American universities. Wood is a junior from Del Mar, California, and will be back battling for the Stags next season.
Fritz and partner Justin Reindel fell 6-2, 7-5 in the doubles semifinals Saturday to the Bates team of Timmy Berg and Pierre Planche.
The fourth-seeded Case Western Reserve Spartans duo of Eric Klawitter and Chris Krimbill first ousted the No. 2 team of Jeremy Bush and Ross Putterman of Washington (Mo.) in the semifinals.
Then, Klawitter and Krimbill became the first Spartan athletes to win an NCAA tennis title, defeating Berg and Planche 6-3, 6-4 in the final.
"We have been at No. 1 doubles all year, and have spent a lot of time together," Krimbill said. "We got to know each other's games. Our returns were the key this week, to help us out in the matches. As we progressed, we got better and better. We just felt the flow of energy."