UNCW Tennis Teams Win CAA Championships

Monday, April 21, 2014

The UNCW women's tennis team won its first championship and the men's team won its fourth this past weekend when both teams defeated the College of Charleston.

Eleven proved to be a lucky number for the UNCW women’s tennis team. The No. 1-seeded Seahawks won their 11th straight match and it couldn’t have been any more dramatic as Coach Evan Clark’s team edged No. 2 seed College of Charleston, 4-3, to capture their first Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Tennis Championship late Sunday.

The UNCW women’s tennis team also made a major haul at Thursday night’s pre-tournament banquet on the eve of the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Tennis Championships in Williamsburg, Va.

Second-year skipper Evan Clark was selected CAA Coach-of-the-Year, senior Angie Sekely (Ontario, Canada) was voted Player-of-the-Year and newcomer Annika Sillanpaa (Tampere, Finland) was named Rookie-of-the-Year.

Sekely was named First-Team All-CAA in singles for the second straight year. Sillanpaa and senior Olga Blank (Winnipeg, Canada) collected Second-Team All-CAA recognition in singles as well.

Two UNCW doubles teams earned All-CAA honors. Blank and sophomore Christine Kharkevitch (Houston, Texas) were selected First-Team All-Conference and Sekely was voted Second-Team with partner Alyssa Ritchie (Franklin, Ohio). In addition, Ritchie, who is majoring in biology, made the All-Academic Team on the women’s side.

UNCW won its fourth Colonial Athletic Association men’s tennis championship with a 4-0 victory over the College of Charleston early Sunday.

The 46th-ranked and top-seeded Seahawks earned the CAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and pushed their record to 15-6 on the season. The College of Charleston, rated 66th by the ITA, was making its first appearance in the tourney and owns an 18-6 record.

It was déjà vu Thursday night for UNCW at the pre-tournament banquet on the eve of the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Tennis Championships in Williamsburg, Va.

The UNCW men’s tennis team captured two of the three major honors and, like last year, seventh-year skipper Mait DuBois was selected Coach-of-the-Year and senior standout Rafael Aita was tabbed Player-of-the-Year by the league’s coaches.

It was the third honor for DuBois, who also won the award during his team’s championship runs in 2009 and 2013. Aita is the highest ranked player in the CAA at No. 48 and brings a 12-4 singles record into this weekend’s three-day CAA tourney at William & Mary.

“It’s always a huge honored to be recognized by your peers in the conference,” said DuBois. “We take a lot of pride in the depth we have this year. We have so many players who have contributed to our success this season.”

A native of Lima, Peru, Aita and junior teammate Sam Williams (Bristol, England) earned First-Team All-CAA in singles, while senior Pedro Mol (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and sophomore Santtu Leskinen (Helsinki, Finland) collected Second-Team accolades. In doubles, Aita and Williams were tabbed First-Team All-CAA.

Senior Matt Kealy (Surrey, England), a business administration major, collected All-Academic Team honors in his final year with the program.