WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Four UNCW men's tennis players - Rafael Aita, Kosta Blank, Chris Cooprider and Pedro Mol - will be competing in the UVa Ranked+1 Invitational this weekend in Charlottesville, Va.
The Seahawks are one of 16 schools sending players to the elite event, which will be staged Friday through Saturday at the Snyder Tennis Center. Overall, the tournament will feature 64 players, with four 16-player singles draws and four eight-team doubles draws. Each school is allowed to enter one unranked player for every ranked player competing.
In singles, Aita, ranked 55th in the ITA's preseason rankings, faces Penn State's Bryan Welnetz in the White bracket, while Blank battles Memphis netter Joe Salisbury in the Orange flight, Cooprider plays VCU's Michal Voscek in the Blue bracket and Mol takes on top-seeded Alexis Huegas of VCU in the Gold draw.
Blank and Cooprider, ranked 57th by the ITA in doubles, are seeded No. 2 in the Red doubles draw and go up against PSU's Welnetz and Thomas Hanzlik in a first-round match. Mol and Aita are scheduled to play Virginia's Alex Domijan and Harrison Richmond, the No. 2 seeds, in the Green draw.
Joining the Seahawks and host Virginia in the field are players from George Washington, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. State, Penn State, Radford, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and William & Mary.
Action begins each day at 9 a.m. Friday's schedule consists of two rounds of doubles, followed by one round of singles. Saturday will have one round of doubles and two rounds of singles. Sunday features the final round of singles.