ITA Honors Aita As Emerging Player
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the recognized governing body for collegiate tennis, has designated UNCW sophomore Rafael Aita as the Carolina Region's "Player to Watch" in its annual post-season awards announcement.
The ITA singled out 12 players from NCAA Division I programs around the country for their 2012 accomplishments and future potential. Aita, a second-year player from Lima, Peru, went 17-4 in singles this season to help the Seahawks collect their third NCAA Regional berth in four years and is ranked 95th in the most recent ITA rankings.
"I'm happy for Rafael because he is very deserving of this award," said Mait DuBois, UNCW's fifth-year head coach. "It's a real confidence builder for him since other coaches in the region identify him as a player with outstanding potential.
"I always enjoy it when you see a player working hard to get better and his efforts are recognized. I know he will enjoy this award and use it as motivation to keep pushing forward."
Aita played No. 1 singles in 15 matches for the Seahawks and closed out the season with a 17-4 record and six-match winning streak. He also fashioned a 9-3 scorecard in doubles play.
"I was very surprised and happy about it," Aita said after receiving the news. "I didn't know it existed. I'm happy because I've been working really hard with my two coaches and I hope I can continue to build on this season."
The other ITA honorees included: Justin Shane, Virginia, Atlantic Region; Guillermo Alcorta, Oklahoma, Central Region; Greg Andrews, Notre Dame, Midwest Region; Patrick Kawka, BYU, Mountain Region; Winston Lin, Columbia, Northeast Region; Francis Alcantara, Fresno State, Northwest Region; Anthony Rossi, Kentucky, Ohio Valley Region; Malte Stropp, Mississippi State, Southern Region; Bob van Overbeek, Florida, Southeast Region; Sebastian Fanselow, Pepperdine, Southwest Region; Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas, Texas Region.
The Seahawks wound up 17-7 overall this spring and are rated 44th in the latest ITA rankings.