WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Reigning Colonial Athlete Association Player-of-the-Year Rafael Aita of UNCW has been named to Peru’s Davis Cup Team, becoming the first player in the history of the 44th-ranked UNCW men’s tennis team to achieve the penultimate honor.

 “It has always been a goal for our program to help our team members reach their dreams,” said seventh-year Head Coach Mait DuBois. “Rafael has been talking about his dream of playing Davis Cup for his country since he arrived here and his selection is something our entire team takes pride in.

“There is nothing that compares to representing your country in international competition and I know it means everything to Rafael. The experience he will gain is something that will benefit him the rest of the season with us and as he transitions into professional tennis after his graduation this spring.”

The fleet-footed Peruvian is ranked 42nd nationally in singles and went 16-5 one year ago, climbing as high as No. 17 before finishing 52nd overall. He became the first player in UNCW history to earn an invitation to play in the NCAA Singles Championships last spring in Champaign, Ill.

Aita has sharpened his doubles play and is ranked 15th nationally with teammate Sam Williams. The tandem is the highest ranked doubles team in the state and advanced to the ITA National Men’s Tennis Indoor Championships in Flushing, N.Y., in the fall by completing an unbeaten run in the ITA Carolina Regional at Cary Tennis Park. The team beat opponents from Elon, Duke, North Carolina, South Carolina and N.C. State en route to the ITA Carolina crown.

Aita and Williams went a perfect 15-0 last year, including 14-0 at the No. 2 position, to earn a final ranking of No. 33.

Peru travels to Bolivia for its first round match. The two nations have not met in the Davis Cup since 1978.

Peru, which began competing in 1968, participates in the Americas Zone Group II of the Davis Cup and is governed by the Federacion de Tenis de Peru. The country has fashioned a 34-44 career record in Davis Cup matches through the years.