Seahawk Netters Crush USC Upstate, 7-0
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The No. 39-ranked UNCW men's tennis team won its third home match in as many tries and raised its record to 4-1 with a 7-0 drubbing of USC Upstate Saturday at the UNCW courts.
The Seahawks bounced back from a narrow loss to No. 12 Florida by clobbering the Spartans in the first of back-to-back matches for Mait DuBois and his club this weekend. The Seahawks play host to state rival Campbell tomorrow (Feb. 10) at Noon.
"It was good to get back on the court after what seemed like a long 12 days with no matches," said sixth-year head coach Mait DuBois. "We got a lot done over the past two weeks and it showed in our play today.
"USC Upstate did a very good job of just competing hard and getting better as the more went on. They really made a huge push late in the match and had some momentum going. We were able to respond every well and all the tight sets went our way. They beat us the last time they played here and I was pleased to get the result today."
In Saturday's match, the Seahawks got off to a strong start when the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles tandems won by identical 8-3 scores.
The No. 1 team of Rafael Aita and Sam Williams, ranked 53rd by the ITA, cruised past USC Upstate's Mattias Kidler and Yvon Haessig. The No. 2 team of Chris Cooprider and Christian Van der Burgh then clinched the early point with an 8-3 verdict over Jacob Darling and Gonzalo Blanco. It was Van der Burgh's first collegiate doubles win.
"I was very pleased with Christian, who we mixed into our doubles rotation today," added DuBois. "He handled it very well and helped us earn a decisive victory at the No. 2 spot. Zach Hublitz also came out very strong for us and helped get some good momentum going in singles."
The Seahawks breezed through singles as well, only dropping one set in winning all six matches.
Sophomore Sam Williams, ranked No. 121, set the tone when his opponent, Blanco, retired in the No. 3 singles match and Kaue Pereira then hiked the score to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Ramon Simonetti at No. 4. Pedro Mol clinched the match by besting Darling, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 6 singles.
Senior Chris Cooprider nailed down the next point when he fought off three set points in the second set and won 6-1, 7-5, at No. 2 singles. Aita was pushed to three sets at the top of the lineup, but outlast Kidler, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
"Winthrop is another strong team coming in to play tomorrow," said DuBois. "They have a lot of new players and are definitely a team on the rise. We saw them a little in the fall and know it will be a very good match."