WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina – Three players reached the semifinals of their respective brackets as the UNCW men’s tennis team opened action Friday at the Wake Forest Fall Tennis Invitational.

The Seahawks went 8-4 overall in singles and split a pair of doubles matches as 17 teams convened for the bracketed event at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

Senior Rafael Aita, sophomore Santtu Leskinen and senior Matt Kealy each advanced to the semifinals in singles action for the Seahawks.

Aita, the 2013 CAA Player-of-the-Year, raced past Iowa’s Jonas Dierckx, 6-2, 6-4, in his first match of the day in A2 Singles and the top-seeded player from Lima, Peru, stymied Penn State’s Alex Fennell, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the semis.

Leskinen, meanwhile, also won a pair of close matches in B2 Singles. The Helsinki product outlasted Wake Forest’s Nicky Kunz, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, and then upset No. 1 seeded Luke Synn of Furman, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (10), in a thriller.

In D2 Singles, Kealy received a bye in his first match before coming from behind to beat Liberty’s Guillem Seconell, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, to make the semifinals.

In other matches, junior Sam Williams went 1-1 in A1 Singles, losing to Duke’s Josh Levine, 6-2, 6-4, and defeating Furman’s Matt Browne, 6-2, 7-6 (2), and junior Zach Hublitz outlasted Penn State’s Michael Reilly, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, before narrowly losing to Duke’s Cale Hammond, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Sophomore Christian Van der Burgh won his first match in C2 Singles over UNC Charlotte’s Francis Pare, 6-4, 6-1, but dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to South Carolina State’s Khalil Naji.

Play continues Saturday in both singles and doubles at the home of the Demon Deacons.