Courtesy: Joe Browning Senior Chris Cooprider is only the third player in the history of the CAA to win Tournament MVP twice
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Senior Chris Cooprider of UNCW has been named the Most Outstanding Performer at the recent Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Tennis Championships in a vote by the league’s coaches.
Cooprider, from Denver, Col., won both of his singles and doubles matches as the Seahawks raced to their third CAA title in five years with a pair of convincing 4-0 victories over Drexel and William & Mary.
It marks the second time Cooprider has earned the award and the third MOP honor for a UNCW netter. Cooprider also picked up the honor in 2011 following in the footsteps of Ilia Ziamtsou in 2009.
Cooprider is also only the third player in the history of the CAA to win the award twice. He joins VCU’s Olivier Tauma (1996, 1997) and Daniel Andersson (1999, 2000) in that elite company.
“What an honor for Coop,” said Mait DuBois, UNCW’s sixth-year head coach and 2013 CAA Coach-of-the-Year. “I don’t think there are many players in college tennis who can say they have won two tournament MVP awards. To win this honor a couple days after he was voted our team MVP really demonstrates the consistency of his performance day-in and day-out.
“He was extremely solid for us throughout the tournament. He was the first guy off the court in both matches in singles and won both of his doubles matches. He has been doing an excellent job with his mental intensity lately and is just refusing to give away any free points.
“The fact that he only lost four total games in two matches demonstrates the kind of focus he has right now. Even though he was playing with a sore back, I knew he would put in a very professional performance.”
In singles, Cooprider blanked Drexel’s Jeganathan Srivinvasan, 6-0, 6-0, in the semifinals before beating W&M’s Will Juggins, 6-3, 6-1, in the championship match.
Cooprider combined with Kosta Blank for two victories in doubles. The 28th-ranked team in the ITA ratings downed Drexel’s Skyler Davis and Dan Koehler, 8-2, and defeated W&M’s Anton Andersson and Aaron Chaffee, 8-3.
Cooprider was a First-Team All-CAA selection in singles and doubles for the Seahawks. He is tied for fifth all-time on UNCW’s singles list with a 54-21 record and holds down sole possession of fifth place in doubles with a 54-17 mark.
Cooprider and the Seahawks nailed down their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance with last week’s CAA crown and will learn their postseason destination during Tuesday’s NCAA selection show.