|Men's Tennis Team Headed To Virginia|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Playing in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Regionals isn’t new to UNCW, but this year’s destination for the Seahawks sure is.
The Seahawks, two-time Colonial Athletic Association defending champions, found out that they’re headed to Charlottesville, Va., for the NCAA Regionals after Tuesday’s selection show on NCAA.com. UNCW will be joined by the Cavaliers (23-2), Army (20-5) and Penn State (21-5).
“It’s always very exciting to see your name come up on the screen,” said seventh-year Head Coach Mait DuBois. “Everybody in the tournament is pretty good, but Penn State is a team we’ve seen before, so we’re looking forward to it.”
UNCW, ranked 48th by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, will play No. 24 Penn State on Saturday, May 10, at 9 a.m. The fourth-ranked Cavaliers play the Cadets at Noon. Both matches will be held at the Snyder Tennis Center.
The Seahawks represent one of 64 teams playing at 16 first and second-round sites. First and second-round competition takes place May 9-11 and features four teams playing in a single-elimination format. The winner of each site advances to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., where the 16 teams will compete for the national championship May 16-20. The event will be hosted by Georgia.
It will be the fifth NCAA appearance for the Seahawks in the last six years and their fourth consecutive trip to the tournament. UNCW stands 1-4 in NCAA Tournament matches.
“Our experience is huge,” DuBois continued, “we’ve got three guys playing in their fourth NCAA Tournament. The biggest thing is preparation. We know how we like to prepare. The guys know what to do. We’re going with a purpose and not just happy to be there.”
In last year’s tournament, UNCW upset No. 18 South Carolina in the first round, 4-0, before falling to No. 9 Duke, 4-0, at Amber Tennis Stadium in Durham.
The Seahawks carry a 15-6 record into the tournament and are riding the crest of a nine-match winning streak dating back to March 14. UNCW played 10 nationally-ranked teams this spring and fashioned a 6-4 record against the group.
CAA Player-of-the-Year Rafael Aita, ranked No. 52 nationally, will lead the Seahawks into the NCAA’s. The senior from Lima, Peru, owns a 14-4 record this spring with 64 career singles victories, just one shy of the school record. He was named Most Outstanding Performer at the recent CAA Championships after leading the Seahawks to a 4-0 rout of the College of Charleston in the CAA finals.
Tournament matches will be regulation dual matches with three eight-game, pro-set doubles played for one team point, followed by six singles matches, each valued at one team point, played in best-of-three sets. Regular scoring will be used and a 12-point tiebreaker will be played at seven-games-all in doubles and at six-games-all in singles.
Thirty-one conferences, including the CAA, received automatic qualification into the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships.