There was one day when I woke up and I had a vision. A vision that I should dedicate my life to DIII Tennis Blogging, giving feedback and recognition to players who worked their asses off but always played second or even third fiddle to their DI counterparts. I’m proud to say that the vision has been achieved. As our final joint article of the year, the bloggers have come together to give you our 2013-2014 Superlatives. We’re talking DIII All-First Team, DIII All-Second Team, DIII All-Third Team, MVP, Coach of the Year, and Most Improved Player. Got a suggestion for next year or just want to start a discussion? Post in the comments and let us know your thoughts. Mud-slinging is sometimes acceptable, unless you are LoveD3Tennis. Then it is unacceptable. Without further ado, I present to you this year’s 2013-2014 Superlatives.
1. Joey Fritz, Amherst
2. Oliver Loutsenko, Skidmore
3. CJ Krimbill, Case
4. Wade Heerboth, Kenyon
5. Warren Wood, CMS
Thoughts: Mr. Fritz caps off a great season by receiving our first annual MVP trophy. With his win, Fritz will get a brand-new Hyundai Sonata with NOS boosters. Fritz and his backhand had a stellar year for the national champs, and without him, they aren’t winning the national championship. The best player for the best team who is irreplaceable? Count us in. Fritz was a unanimous decision from the DIII blogging team.
Coach of the Year
1. Coach Todd Wojtkowski, Case Western
2. Coach Russell McMindes, Trinity TX
3. Coach Chris Garner, Amherst
4. Coach Bob Hansen, Middlebury
5. Coach Ben Belletto, Whittier
Thoughts: This was probably one of the hardest votes for us. I’ve personally been a big proponent of Coach Todd, but McMindes has done a fantastic job and he won the ITA Coach of the Year ranking for a reason. You can go back and forth on this one and of course, don’t forget the National Champion Coach Garner, who obviously did pretty damn good work this year as well.
Most Improved Player
1. Michael Solimano, Amherst
2. Abhishek Alla, Carnegie Mellon
3. Juan Luis Chu, Gustavus Adolphus
4. Sam Geier, Kenyon
5. Skylar Butts, CMS
6. Chris Dale, Amherst
7. Jake Humphreys, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Thoughts: This is my favorite award because it really shows you the guys that personify DIII Tennis (for the most part). You have talent here, but it’s not like these guys just picked up a racket and became amazing. I’d say all these players are hard-working players who have definitely made serious impacts this year. There were a few other honorable mentions, but Solimano takes the top spot for not only showing drastic improvement, but coming through in the clutch as well. Think practice reps don’t matter? Explain to me how a guy who wasn’t in the lineup last year won some of the biggest matches in the Elite 8.
The Blog’s All Division III First Team
1st Doubles – CJ Krimbill/Eric Klawitter, Case Western Reserve University
2nd Doubles – Brantner Jones/Palmer Campbell, Middlebury College
3rd Doubles – Nikolas Marino/Zhenya Pereverzin, CMS
1st Singles – Joey Fritz, Amherst College
2nd Singles – John Carswell, Washington University of St. Louis
3rd Singles – Nicolas Marino, CMS
4th Singles – Skylar Butts, CMS
5th Singles – Andrew Yaraghi, Amherst
6th Singles – Justin Reindel, Amherst
Thoughts: As you’d expect, we see a lot of CMS and a lot of Amherst on here. You can’t have the best tennis team without the best players at some of your positions. However, we do see a good amount of other teams represented in our first ever All DIII First Team, which is nice to see. Special shoutout to John Carswell who had an outstanding year this year and of course the doubles teams of Case and Middlebury for making it.
The Blog’s All Division III Second Team
1st Doubles – Joe Dorn/Warren Wood, CMS
2nd Doubles – Neel Kotrappa/Skylar Butts, CMS
3rd Doubles – Charlie Curtis/Clayton Neiss, Trinity TX
1st Singles – Warren Wood, CMS
2nd Singles – Joe Dorn, CMS
3rd Singles – Michael Solimano, Amherst
4th Singles – Kiril Kirkov, Carnegie Mellon University
5th Singles – Kenny Zheng, Carnegie Mellon University
6th Singles – Zhenya Pereverin, CMS
Thoughts: Lots of CMS in this one, as the guys that didn’t make the 1st team start to show up here. Really nice to see a couple of CMU guys there at the bottom of the lineup as those two guys held up the team for a good portion of the year. Kudos to those freshmen. It’s a testament to a lot of these players that I know their names by heart despite where they play in the lineup.
The Blog’s All Division III Third Team
1st Doubles – Ross Putterman/Jeremy Bush, Washington University of St. Louis
2nd Doubles – Jordan Mayer/Greg Haugen, Trinity TX
3rd Doubles – Michael Solimano/Chris Dale, Amherst College
1st Singles – Alex Ruderman, Emory University
2nd Singles – Brantner Jones, Middlebury University
3rd Singles – Sam King, Bowdoin University
4th Singles – Anton Zykov, Amherst College
5th Singles – Jordan Mayer, Trinity TX
6th Singles – Kevin Chu, Washington University of St. Louis
Thoughts: This was my favorite All Team selection. Reason being is that there is a lot of variety here and we get to recognize some of the best of the year despite not winning a national championship. Really interesting to see Kevin Chu down at the bottom of the lineup, considering the kid hasn’t played until this year. Great job to Kevin this year. Also, it is nice to send off Sam King into the twilight with a 3rd Team nod in what has been an incredible career at Bowdoin. He was a game-changer and a program-changer there and they owe a lot of their success to him.
Honorable Mentions, All-Team Awards
1st Doubles – Timmy Berg/Pierre Planche (Bates), Joey Fritz/Justin Reindel (Amherst)
2nd Doubles – Tanner Brown/Erik Lim (Hopkins), John Healey/Will Drougas (Case)
3rd Doubles – Noah Joachim/Nicholas Garcia (Hopkins), Jeffrey Hirsh/Kevin Chu (Wash U)
1st Singles – Abhishek Alla (CMU), Oliver Loutsenko (Skidmore)
2nd Singles – Chris Dale (Amherst), Jake Yasgoor (Pomona)
3rd Singles – Steven Roston (Whitman), Jeremy Bush (Wash U)
4th Singles – Aaron Skinner (Trinity TX), Ari Smolyar (Middlebury)
5th Singles – Tyler Kratky (Wash U), James Fojitasek (Case Western)
6th Singles – Jose Raventos (Williams), Brad Entwistle (Gustavus Adolphus)
Thoughts: These are the guys that just missed the cut! Congratulations to all these players on great seasons, you can truly say that the bloggers believe you are “Top 5” at your position.
Team to Watch
D3West – Pomona Pitzer College
D3Central – Oberlin College (woah)
D3Northeast – Carnegie Mellon University
D3AtlanticSouth – Kenyon College
Well that’s all folks! This will most likely be our last article together as a team for the year, so I hope you all enjoyed this year. I will be wrapping up the year in a separate post shortly, but that will be mostly goodbye tears and reminiscing and shit like that. We hope everyone has an awesome summer – remember to train hard and if you’re a parent, don’t be too hard on your college kid. It’s tough being a college student!