CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia - Seniors Chris Cooprider and Kosta Blank of UNCW knocked off Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger in the championship of the Red doubles draw to highlight UNCW's finishes Saturday in the Virginia Ranked+1 Men's Tennis Invitational at the Snyder Tennis Center.
Cooprider and Blank, ranked 57th nationally by the ITA, edged the Virginia doubles team of Jenkins and Styslinger, 8-6, to set the tone for a successful day for the Seahawks at the elite event. Jenkins is ranked No. 2 in the country by the ITA in singles.
Junior Rafael Aita, meanwhile, reached the championship of the White draw. The 55th-ranked player from UNCW faces 49th-ranked Ryan Shane of U.Va. early Sunday after dispatching Illinois's Jared Hiltzik, 6-3, 6-4, and Styslinger, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (9) in Saturday matches.
"Today was a good day for the Seahawks," said sixth-year head coach Mait DuBois. "Anytime you can go 2-1 against one of the top two teams in the country is very satisfying. There are a number of top teams here and this kind of success gives us a lot of confidence.
"I'm very pleased with our doubles play. We went 5-1 against some quality opponents. In singles, Rafeal (Aita) and Chris have really been playing some great tennis. They have gone 5-1 in singles and seem to be playing better with every match. I'm looking for a strong finish tomorrow."
In another doubles final played Saturday, Aita partnered with Pedro Mol to down George Washington's Francisco Dias and Alex Van Gils, 8-5, in the consolation final of the Green doubles bracket.