WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The UNCW men's tennis team, led by reigning Colonial Athletic Association coach of the year Matt DuBois, has added two players for the spring season - Agustin Savarino and Aviv Ben Shabat.
"We had a very specific recruiting goal in mind for this class," DuBois said. "We were looking for players with extensive international-level experience and maturity. With our team consisting primarily of underclassmen, we knew this goal would be important for our team to make a stride forward.
"I'm very pleased with these two incoming freshmen. Their background, work ethic, ambition and character should be a perfect fit for our team and university."
Savarino, the former top-ranked junior player in Argentina has achieved an ATP ranking of 1508 and reached the quarterfinals of an ITF Future event last May after beating a top-700 player in the round of 16.
"I chose UNCW for a number of reasons," Savarino said. "The academic level of the university is very good and its students are well-recognized. I felt comfortable with Coach DuBois. The team is one of the best in the CAA and ranked nationally. It's also located in a beautiful city near the ocean."
DuBois says Savarino's international experience will be a big plus for the Seahawks.
"Agustin has a lot of international experience at the Futures level and that will definitely help him with his transition to collegiate tennis," DuBois said. "He graduated with honors from one of the best high schools in Argentina and is truly passionate about reaching his potential in the classroom and on the tennis court. I've been very impressed with his character throughout the recruiting process. He has a great reputation in Argentina for his fighting spirit on the court."
Ben Shabat, of Tel Aviv, Israel, has earned an ATP ranking of 1755 and doubles rating of 1253. He picked up his first ATP point as an 18-year-old and was ranked among the top-two players in Israel throughout his junior career. In addition, Ben Shabat has been a finalist in an ITF Futures doubles event and was chosen to represent Israel in a European Team event.
"I chose UNCW because of Coach DuBois and the academic strength of the school," said Ben Shabat. "As a tennis player, it's very important for me to have a good relationship with my coach and I felt strongly about this after my first conversation with Coach DuBois. I like UNCW's location and because I'm coming from Israel, it's very important for me to study somewhere with a climate similar to home."
Ben Shabat's aggressive playing style drew interest from DuBois as the coach looked to complement the talented performers on the Seahawk roster.
"Aviv comes highly recommended from some of the top coaches in Israel. He has enjoyed a lot of success in singles and doubles and has extensive experience playing at the ITF Futures level," he said. "Aviv likes to play a very aggressive style and those skills will carry well into doubles. His perspective is a little different from most of our incoming freshmen since he has spent the last three years serving in the Israeli military.
"I have really enjoyed getting to know Aviv during the recruiting process. Our team will benefit a lot from his experience and maturity. He's very excited about making the most of this opportunity and we've excited about having him join our program."