CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia - Four UNCW men's tennis players combined for a 5-3 record on the opening day of the UVa Ranked+1 Invitational Friday at the Snyder Tennis Center.
Seniors Kosta Blank and Chris Cooprider, the No. 2 seed, advanced to the finals of the Red Doubles draw following a pair of wins over teams from Penn State and VCU. They will face Virgina's top-seeded tandem of Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger, who reached the final with wins over UNC Chapel Hill and Louisville.
In singles action, Blank dropped a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 score to Joe Salisbury of Memphis in the Orange bracket. Cooprider, however, downed VCU's Michael Voscek, 6-2, 6-2, in his first match in the Blue Draw and will battle top-seeded and eighth-ranked Alex Domijan of NCAA finalist Virginia in the quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
UNCW's Rafael Aita, ranked 55th nationally, is seeded No. 2 in the White Singles draw and won his first match Friday with a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Penn State's Bryan Welnetz. He will play Jared Hiltzik of Illinois at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
In the other singles match involving a Seahawk player, top-seeded Alexis Huegas of VCU outlasted UNCW's Pedro Mol, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, in the Gold flight.
In addition to the result of Blank and Cooprider, the doubles team of Mol and Aita dropped their opening match to Domijan and Harrison Richmond, 8-5, before bouncing back for a 9-8 (5) victory over N.C. State's Austin Powell and Sean Weber in the Green bracket.
Play began Friday with two rounds of doubles in the four eight-team draws. The tournament continues Saturday with the final round of doubles, followed by two rounds of singles. The final round of singles will be on Sunday.