Fritz Wins ITA Regional Singles Championship

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Amherst's Joey Fritz '14 (Cincinnati, OH) helped the defending national champion men's tennis team open their fall season in dramatic fashion, defeating Williams' Matt Micheli 2-6, 6-0, 6-4 to capture the 2011 USTA/ITA New England Regional singles crown.

Fritz's championship marks the Lord Jeffs' second regional title in as many years, with senior Wes Waterman (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and former Jeff Mortiz Koenig '11 (Hamburg, Germany) having captured the doubles crown last season.

Seeded sixth, Fritz upended Nichols' David Drucker 6-3, 6-1 to begin his 2011 ITA run before handing MIT's Brian Oldfield a 6-1, 6-1 loss. Fritz then came-from-behind to defeat Williams' Trey Meyer 3-6, 7-6 (1) (12) before cruising to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Bates' Matt Bettles to set up a semifinal showdown with teammate Chris Dale '14 (Austin, Texas).

Dale's road to the semis began with a 3-6, 6-3 (8) victory over Tufts' Andrew Lutz. He then edged out Bowdoin's Oscar Pena 3-6, 6-3 (4) before scoring a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Trinity's Ned Mandel. Riding a wave of momentum, Dale punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 quarterfinal win over Bowdoin's Chris Lord.

Dropping the first set 7-5, Fritz rallied in his semifinal matchup with Dale, capturing the second 6-0 before grinding out a 7-6 (2) third set win. On the other side of the bracket, Micheli upset Sun 7-6 (3), 6-3 to advance to the final.

Falling into an early hole after losing the first set to Micheli 6-2, a resilient Fritz again battled back, shutting out his Williams counterpart 6-0 before winning the title with a 6-4 third set triumph.

In doubles play, Dale and first-year Andrew Scheiner earned an 9-8 (2) win over MIT's Matthew Skalak and Edwin Zhang before securing an 8-2 victory over Colby's Tom Kimball and Robert Yee. The duo's run soon ended however, falling to Middlebury's top-seeded pairing for Brantner Jones and Andrew Lebovitz, 8-6.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, October 8 in a dual match against Johns Hopkins University.