UNCW netters sweep top seeds in CAA tennis

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UNCW women made history Monday when Coach Evan Clark’s team joined the men as the top seeds for this week’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tennis championships in Williamsburg, Va.

The Seahawk women carry a 14-3 record into a 3 p.m. quarterfinal matchup against eighth-seeded Hofstra on Friday, April 18, at William & Mary’s Mille West Tennis Facility.

Pedro Mol and Miller Hales will play key roles as the Seahawks attempt to sweep the CAA tennis titles this weekend in Williamsburg, Va.
Pedro Mol and Miller Hales will play key roles as the Seahawks attempt to sweep CAA tennis titles this weekend in Williamsburg, Va. Photo courtesy UNCW Athletics.

“It’s the first time we’ve earned the No. 1 seed, so it’s certainly a tremendous honor for our team,” said Clark, who is completing his second season with the program. “It’s very nice for our team to be recognized for all its hard work and success in the regular season.

“At the same time, we realize it’s just a number next to our name and we will take one match at a time like we have done all year.”

UNCW’s women have reeled off nine consecutive wins since a narrow loss to North Florida on March 1. Led by senior Angie Sekely’s 11-match winning streak and sparkling 15-1 record, the Seahawks have compiled a 79-20 (.798) record in singles and 35-9 (.795) ledger in doubles.

The women’s tournament opens Friday with four quarterfinal contests. At 3 p.m., No. 1 UNCW squares off with No. 8 Hofstra. The CAA women’s championship match is set for 2 p.m. Sunday.

The UNCW men, meanwhile, are the No. 1 seed for the third time after collecting the top seed in 2009 and 2013. The Seahawks captured the championship in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

“The CAA Tournament is always very important to our team and something we build toward the entire year,” said seventh-year Head Coach Mait DuBois. “It’s a great compliment to be selected as the No. 1 seed from our conference peers.

“There are a number of quality teams in the CAA and we have a lot of respect for them. Our team has been training hard and I think the seeding is a result of that work. In the men’s bracket, the No. 1 seed receives a bye into the semifinals, but after that the seeding’s pretty much go out the window and the team that shows up the best prepared will win and advance. We will just focus on being as well-prepared as possible.”

The men’s event gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. The men’s semifinals take place at 10 a.m. Saturday as UNCW goes up against the JMU/Drexel winner and the winner of the W&M/Hofstra match takes on the winner of the CofC/Delaware match.

The CAA men’s championship match is set for 10 a.m. Sunday.

Both teams will be vying for the CAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The women are seeking their first entry into the post-season, while the men are shooting for their fifth appearance in the NCAA Regionals.