The Blog’s 2014 Season Awards

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!

  12 comments for “The Blog’s 2014 Season Awards

  1. D3player
    June 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    You guys ever think about incorporating video into the blog in some way? That would be epic.
    You guys kicked ass this year btw. Really made being a part of the D3 tennis world an amazing experience.

    • D3AtlanticSouth
      June 15, 2014 at 3:29 am

      ha! I’ve thought of it myself, but would have to work out a way to continue to be anonymous with video. Definitely an idea I’ve keep in the back of my mind this year.

      Thanks for the compliments! It was a great year for DIII Tennis overall, we’re just glad that we can be part of it as well. Looking forward to next year already!

  2. Anonymous
    June 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I’m suprised Ruderman didn’t get a nod for most improved. He went from a weak #2 to the #3 player in the country according to the ita

    • D3West
      June 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

      I think two of us had him in our top 5. There are just so many players in DIII that make huge leaps.

    • anonymous
      June 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      No nominations to Halpern for anything? Guy made the quarters of individuals…

      • D3West
        June 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        Probably should be in the top five at #2 singles, but he had a couple bad losses. More importantly, he was supposed to be the best #2 in the country after the season he had last year at #1 and his Fall tournament victory, and just didn’t live up to the expectations. I’m sure Mr. Halpstennis isn’t happy with his season either, but you’re right, he probably deserves to be in the top 5 at #2 singles. I think he was #6

  3. Anonymous
    June 12, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Berg/Planche Honorable Mention????

    You just lost all credibility !

    • D3AtlanticSouth
      June 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Timmy and Pierre’s losses this year:

      vs. Chris Weichert/Anthony Bello, Pomona
      vs. Tyler Carey/Evan Charles, UMW
      vs. Joey Fritz/Justin Reindel, Amherst
      vs. Carl Reid/Vlad Murad, Colby
      vs. CJ Krimbill/Eric Klawitter, Case

      They were also unable to play in Fall ITAs while most of the other teams did and did well.

      The only team that they beat that is ahead of them is Dorn/Wood, who obviously had an amazing season. Although Timmy and Pierre had an awesome season, it’s important to know that there are TONS of other teams that did well! They basically placed #4 in our rankings, which is pretty good I’d say.

      • Anonymous
        June 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

        Thanks for ITA getting it right.

        • D3AtlanticSouth
          June 13, 2014 at 11:12 am


  4. D3CentralTennis
    June 12, 2014 at 9:03 am

    My fellow bloggers are giving me some heat for choosing Oberlin as my team to watch next year. I didn’t want to be boring and pick a Top 20 team already so that eliminated Chicago and Wesleyan. Both of those teams have phenomenal recruiting classes coming in and return a solid core so they are definitely teams to watch. I chose Oberlin because I think they may be a year or two away from being a potential Top 30 team. It won’t happen next year, but I expect them to creep into the Top 15 of the region and with one more solid recruiting class, they are going to be a dangerous team. They had a good season last year with a lineup mostly made up of freshmen. They bring in a top recruit (Will Drougas’s brother) that will step in and make a big impact right away. They have a newer coach that was one of the top women’s coaches at W&L that clearly has revitalized the program. Oberlin’s nationally recognized name and academic reputation leaves me to believe that this team could be one that continues to rise as long as things go the way they could. Again, not a nationally ranked team next year, but one that will creep up the region rankings and potentially the following year make a big upset.

    The true team to worry about is Chicago!

  5. Yeogrindaaaah44
    June 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    octennis = #teamwoah #RTC

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