WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW men's tennis team is one of just seven NCAA Division I programs with representation in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's ranking of top-20 singles and doubles players.
The Seahawks, 5-1, are ranked 39th in the latest ITA listing and feature the CAA's Player-of-the-Week in junior Rafael Aita and Doubles Team-of-the-Week in Aita and sophomore Sam Williams.
Aita soared from No. 37 to No. 17 this week after winning three consecutive matches, including a big upset over 26th-ranked Florent Diep of Florida, 6-4, 6-3. Aita and Williams are unbeaten in doubles and moved up to No. 45 after allowing just 13 games in five matches.
Seniors Chris Cooprider of Denver, Colo., and Kosta Blank of Winnipeg, Canada, are now up to eighth in the country, the highest ranking for a player or team in UNCW history, after opening the year at No. 10.
Only six other programs have players in the top-20 of both singles and doubles: Virginia (#1), Georgia (#6), Duke (#9), Mississippi State (#10), Mississippi (#12) and Michigan (#12).
"I'm very proud of Rafael, Kosta and Coop for their accomplishments and am pleased they are being recognized as among the best in the country," said Mait DuBois, UNCW's sixth-year head coach. "Their development and commitment to the process of getting better every day has been to the key to their success. I'm confident they will continue to work hard. Their best tennis is still ahead of them."
The Seahawks return to the courts on Saturday with a Noon match against Campbell.