UNCW Press Release
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – Talented junior Rafael Aita became the first UNCW netter to earn CAA Player-of-the-Year honors as a large group of Seahawk tennis standouts made a big haul on the eve of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Tennis Championships.
The teams competing in the event at the W&M's Millie West Tennis Facility convened Thursday night to recognize the season's best players.
Coach Mait DuBois and the red-hot men's team are the No. 1 seed and will face the winner of the Drexel-Delaware match in the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m. Coach Evan Clark and the No. 2-seeded women's team take on No. 7 Hofstra Friday at 9 a.m.
Aita, ranked 64th this week by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, secured First-Team honors for the second straight year, headlining four Seahawks on the six-member club. The native of Lima, Peru, posted a 14-5 record in singles, playing 18 of the matches at the top of the lineup.
The crafty Aita was joined on the First-Team by senior Kosta Blank, senior Chris Cooprider and sophomore Sam Williams. Sophomore Kaue Pereira collected Second-Team honors and sophomore Zach Hublitz earned Third-Team laurels.
Cooprider, from Denver, Colo., has won 17 of 20 matches this season, including eight in a row. Blank is tied for first all-time in doubles victories and ranks fourth overall with 54 singles victories. He has clinched three of the last five matches.
In doubles, the Seahawks featured two pairings on the First-Team. Blank and Cooprider, ranked 28th nationally, and Aita and Williams, ranked 54th, were both recognized by the CAA's coaches.
The doubles tandem of Pereira and freshman Santtu Leskinen also made Second-Team All-CAA.
DuBois, in his sixth season with the program, garnered CAA Coach-of-the-Year accolades for the second time. He also was honored in 2009.
On the women's side, junior Angie Sekely earned First-Team All-CAA honors in singles after playing the No. 1 position all season for the Seahawks. Junior Kelly Cameron, senior Christina Riley and sophomore Alyssa Ritchie each landed Second-Team honors in singles.
Cameron (14-4) and Ritchie (14-3) share the team lead in singles victories and Ritchie, the 2012 CAA Rookie-of-the-Year, has reeled off 10 straight wins heading into the tourney.
In doubles, Cameron and sophomore Miller Hales collected Second-Team honors after going a team-best 12-4 and Ritchie and freshman Christine Kharkevich made the Third-Team.
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