Sophomore John Watts captured Washington University’s first individual men’s tennis national championship with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Andy Murray of Gustavus Adolphus College in the finals of the 2007 Division III Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships Oct. 13 in Mobile, Ala.
“I got down 5-1 in the first set, and I rallied back to make it close,” Watts said. “Even though I lost the first set, I was still very confident. In the second and third sets, I tried to make the points longer and be more patient. It worked well, and I put more points together in the final two sets. Winning a national championship is awesome, and great for Washington University.”
Watts, who finished third last fall at the ITA Championships and second at the NCAA Championships in May, extended his winning streak to 13 matches and improved his overall record to 45-5 in two seasons on the Danforth Campus.
“There’s no doubt he changed his game plan towards the end of the first set,” coach Roger Follmer said. “He learned last year from making the finals to be more aggressive and stay inside the baseline. He is getting better at that, and dictating play. John worked at his game this summer and gets pushed each day in practice.”
Watts advanced to participate in the ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis, but fell to the Division II champion, Alex Grubin of Concordia, 6-2, 6-2.
Volleyball earns top seed for tourney
The No. 7 volleyball team won four matches at the second University Athletic Association round robin of the 2007 season, Oct. 13-14, in Cleveland.
With the wins, the Bears completed the conference regular season with a perfect 7-0 record, earning the No. 1 seed at the UAA Championships Nov. 2-3, in Rochester, N.Y.
Women’s soccer improves to 12-1
The No. 12 women’s soccer team climbed within one point of first place in the University Athletic Association standings with two road wins. The Bears rebounded from the season’s first loss with a 2-1 win at New York University Oct. 12. WUSTL followed that up with a 1-0 win at Brandeis University Oct. 14.
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Men’s soccer tied for second in UAA
The No. 21 men’s soccer team won two games during its east-coast road trip, defeating No. 19 New York University, 2-1, Oct. 12, and Brandeis University, 2-0, Oct 14. Sophomore John Hengel and freshman Harry Beddo provided the scoring against NYU, while sophomore goalkeeper John Smelcer helped hold the Violets to one goal by making eight saves. The victories improved the Bears to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the University Athletic Association. WUSTL is tied for second place with Emory University, with three conference games remaining.
Cross country travels to Wisconsin
The No. 3 women’s cross country team finished first out of 16 teams at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Brooks Cross Country Invitational Oct. 13 at Winneconne’s Lake Breeze Golf Course in Oshkosh, Wis. The men’s team finished eighth out of 22 teams.