WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW men’s tennis team made its fall debut Friday at the UNCW Invitational and carved out an 11-5 record against players from seven schools competing in the three-day event at Empie Park.

Competing at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center, the Seahawks went 8-4 in singles matches and 3-1 in doubles play on the opening day.

UNCW juniors Rafael Aita and Zach Hublitz and sophomore Santtu Leskinen reached the semifinals in their respective draws to highlight the day.

Aita, a Lima, Peru, native ranked 33rd in today’s inaugural Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll of the season, trimmed N.C. Central’s Stephan Charles-Donatien, 6-4, 6-3, in his first match of the day in the A singles flight and then knocked off VCU’s Michal Voscek, 6-2, 7-5, in the quarterfinals. He faces VCU’s Alejandro Argente in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.

Hublitz, the top seed in B singles, drew a first-round bye and beat East Carolina’s Frederic Lehfeldt, 6-2, 6-1, in the quarterfinals; He will battle New Mexico’s Andy Van Der Vyver in the semis tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

Leskinen, meanwhile, moved on with a pair of easy wins in the C singles draw. He breezed past N.C. Central’s Will East, 6-4, 6-3, in his first match and reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over East Carolina’s Ross Nigro. Leskinen will play ECU’s Blake Gregory in the semifinals Saturday at 2:30 pm.

A full slate of matches is scheduled for Saturday, beginning with the resumption of doubles action at 9:30 a.m., with singles to follow.

The second day of the bracketed tournament gets under way early Saturday at Empie Park. Admission is free.