WILMINGTON, NC September 20, 2013 – Men’s tennis players from UNCW began competing Friday at two highly-regarded tournaments on the East Coast, participating in Virginia’s Ranked+1 Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., and Yale’s Ivy Plus Invitational in New Haven, Conn.
“We decided to send our team to two different events this weekend to allow us to play the best competition in the country,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Mait DuBois. “It’s an excellent measuring stick to see where we are and I was pleased that we were able to pick up a number of wins over top programs. I would like to see us take it up another notch in a number of areas and I look forward to doing so as the events go on.”
In Charlottesville, home of the NCAA Division I champion Cavaliers, a trio of Seahawks went 3-3 on the day in singles play in three different brackets.
Senior Rafael Aita, ranked 33rd nationally, rallied from behind to defeat Michigan’s Michael Zhu, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, before falling to Virginia’s Luca Corinteli, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the Orange Flight.
In the Blue bracket, junior Zach Hublitz defeated VCU’s Nick Jones, 6-4, 6-4, but was handled by top-seeded Cameron Silverman of Elon, 6-1, 6-0.
Junior Sam Williams also split a pair of matches for the Seahawks. He lost to North Carolina’s Ronnie Schneider, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, in his first match before routing Michigan’s Justin Rossi, 6-1, 6-1.
In New Haven, meanwhile, four Seahawks went 2-6 in singles and 1-1 in doubles play.
Junior Kaue Pereira dropped a pair of matches in the A Draw. Harvard’s Denis Nguyen won, 6-5, 6-3, in the first-round and Cornell’s Jason Luu topped Pereira, 6-4, 6-5, in the consolations.
Sophomore Santtu Leskinen split two matches on the day in the B Draw. Tyler Lu of Yale raced past Leskinen, 6-3, 6-4, in the opening match, but Leskinen rallied to trim Diego Pedraza of Dartmouth, 6-5, 6-5.
In the D Draw, sophomore Christian Van der Burgh lost twice. Penn’s Blaine Willenberg thumped Van der Burgh, 6-5, 6-3, in the first match and Brown’s Dan Hirschberg posted a 6-1, 6-1, decision in a first-round consolation matchup.
Freshman Karan Salwan of UNCW won his first-round match in the E Draw, outlasting Dartmouth’s Brendan Tannenbaum, 1-6, 6-3, 6-5, before losing to Penn’s Marshall Shipp, 6-2, 6-1.
The Seahawks played two doubles matches Friday and went .500. Pereira and Van der Burgh edged Columbia’s Dragos Ignat and Richard Pham, 8-4, while Leskinen and Salwan dropped an 8-6 verdict to Nguyen and Casey MacMaster of Harvard, 8-6.