|No. 72 Netters Stay Perfect At Home|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - No. 72 UNCW sailed to its ninth shutout of the season on Saturday by clipping Illinois State, 7-0, in men's tennis at the UNCW Courts.
Playing in pleasant conditions, UNCW racked up its fourth shutout in the last five matches. The Seahawks pushed their record to 10-4 overall and remained undefeated in nine matches at home.
The Redbirds of the Missouri Valley Conference dropped their sixth straight to plummet to 5-9, finishing 0-3 in their spring break trip to the North Carolina coast.
"We played pretty well in doubles today and made some progress with some things we've been working on," said sixth-year UNCW Head Coach Mait DuBois. "We were able to win at No. 2 and No.3 and were in a tight one at No. 1. The chemistry on all three courts has been going pretty well and I think it helps us a lot in doubles."
UNCW grabbed control early by winning the doubles point behind the victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The 41st=ranked team of Rafael Aita and Sam Williams breezed past Rolondo Torrellas and Jakub Eisner, 8-2, at the No. 2 position and the No. 3 tandem of Santtu Leskinen and Kaue Pereira clinched the early point by trimming ISU's Jacob Wilson and Michael Sellitto, 8-4.
The Seahawks won all six singles matches to complete the rout and move to 2-0 on their current home stand.
DuBois said, "In singles, we really had a hard time getting started. I was pleased with how we improved as the matches went on and played better the longer we were out there.
"Sam (Williams) really stood out today and played with great intensity, only dropping one game the entire match. I was also pleased with Santtu (Leskinen), who got his first collegiate singles victory. It doesn't matter how experienced you area coming into college, your first dual match is a different experience and he handled it very well."
Williams, from Surrey, England, got things going in singles by dispatching Eisner, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 3 singles and senior Chris Cooprider thumped Torrellas, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 2 slot to increase the score to 3-0. Leskinen then clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-2, triumph over Rodrigo Oliveira at No. 6 singles.
Aita, Zach Hublitz and Kosta Blank added singles wins the rest of the way to wrap up the scoring.
The Seahawks concluded their three-match home stand on Tuesday with a 2 p.m. match against Dartmouth.