Mayfield Village, Ohio, February 23, 2014 – No. 1-seed Washington University in St. Louis won five of six singles matches after falling behind 2-1 to defeat No. 6-seed Johns Hopkins University 6-3 and win its first-ever Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Men's Tennis Indoor Championship Sunday at the Mayfield Village Racquet Club in Mayfield Village, Ohio.
"I told them it's only a 2-1 edge and we've played good singles the whole weekend," said head coach Roger Follmer, who led Washington University to the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship. "It's no different, don't change anything. I think the singles is more of a marathon, and requires less energy of yelling all the time like in the doubles matches. Doubles, that sets it up. They (Jeremy and Ross) got the point we needed. Getting down 3-0 would have made it very difficult to come back."
John Hopkins (2-2) grabbed the early 2-1 advantage as Washington U.'s lone win came at No. 1 doubles as junior Ross Putterman and freshmanJeremy Bush defeated Michael Buxbaum and Emerson Walsh in a battle of top-five doubles teams in NCAA Division III.
It looked as if the Bears would end doubles play with a 2-1 edge after freshman John Carswell and senior Max Franklin built a 6-2 lead at No. 2 doubles. However, Johns Hopkins' Tanner Brown and Erik Lim rattled off six-straight games to give JHU the momentum heading into singles.
Washington U. leaned on its singles play as it had the entire weekend to take control of the match. Carswell disposed of No. 19-ranked Tanner Brown at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-2 to even the match, but Buxbaum defeated Putterman at No. 1 singles to get the lead back for the Blue Jays. That was the last lead Johns Hopkins would have as the Bears won the final four matches.
Sophomore Tyler Kratky won at No. 5 singles 6-4, 6-0 to even the match at 3-3, and junior Kevin Chu posted a tight 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory at No. 6 singles. Bush clinched the match for the Bears with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 15-ranked Ben Hwang at No. 3 singles. Bush went a combined 6-0 in the three matches over the weekend, and has a 22-10 record in his first season with the Bears.
"It was a great tournament for our team," Bush said. "Every match that we won was really a team effort. It's great that I was able to clinch it. That felt really good. It was the first time I was able to do that. This is my first big college team tournament. I knew if I won the match, I would clinch. I was really motivated, intense and running for every single ball."
1. Michael Buxbaum (JHUM) def. Ross Putterman (WASHUM) 7-5, 6-1
2. #42 John Carswell (WASHUM) def. #19 Tanner Brown (JHUM) 6-3, 6-2
3. #26 Jeremy Bush (WASHUM) def. #15 Ben Hwang (JHUM) 7-5, 6-3
4. Tim Noack (WASHUM) def. Jeremy Dubin (JHUM) 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
5. Tyler Kratky (WASHUM) def. Erik Lim (JHUM) 6-4, 6-0
6. Kevin Chu (WASHUM) def. Sam Weissler (JHUM) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
1. #3 Ross Putterman/Jeremy Bush (WASHUM) def. #5 Michael Buxbaum/Emerson Walsh (JHUM) 8-5
2. Tanner Brown/Erik Lim (JHUM) def. John Carswell/Max Franklin (WASHUM) 8-6
3. #18 Nicholas Garcia/Noah Joachim (JHUM) def. Jeffrey Hirsh/Tyler Kratky (WASHUM) 8-5
• Noack has won 10-straight singles matches and is undefeated in his career at No. 4 singles (8-0).
• The Bears were making their fourth appearance in the ITA National Championship after second-place finishes in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
• Washington U. is the fifth team to win the event and the second-straight first-time winner.
• The Bears posted a 15-3 record in singles over the three matches.
• Bush, Carswell, Chu and Noack combined to go 12-0 in singles in the three matches.
• Putterman upped his career win total to 95, just five shy of entering the 100-victory club.
Washington U. (6-1) has three weeks off before opening a three-match Spring Break trip to California against the University of Rochester Monday, March 10, at 9 a.m. (PT). The Bears also take on No. 11 Bowdoin University (March 11) and No. 19 Carnegie Mellon University (March 14) on the West Coast.