WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Senior Rafael Aita of UNCW made a big leap in the ITA’s national rankings this week and at the same time collected Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Tennis Player-of-the-Week honors for the third time late Tuesday.

The Lima, Peru, star rocketed 22 spots to No. 47 in the ITA’s poll after upsetting No. 22 Joren Vliegen of East Carolina, 6-3, 4-2, ret., last Friday. He has been rated as high as No. 33 in 2013-14.

“Rafa had a good week in beating his second top-25 opponent this spring,” said Mait DuBois, UNCW’s seventh-year head coach. “It’s also the second player he has beaten this spring that defeated him the last time they played. This is a good sign that Rafa is still improving and I know it means a lot to him. We look forward to giving him and our other two seniors a great sendoff in our final home match Friday.”

Aita hiked his season scorecard to 11-4 and moved up to third on the school’s career singles mark with a 61-17 mark. He is 5-2 against ranked opponents this spring following Friday’s conquest of the talented Vliegen.

Aita, recognized by the CAA earlier in the season on March 5 and March 12, makes his final home appearance Friday when the Seahawks entertain state foe UNC Charlotte at 2 p.m. at the UNCW courts. In addition to Aita, fellow seniors Matt Kealy and Pedro Mol are playing in Wilmington for the last time.