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Courtesy: CAA
UNCW's Chris Cooprider

CAA Tennis Championships Preview

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 04/17/2013
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RICHMOND, Va. (April 17, 2013) – The 2013 CAA men’s and women’s tennis championships will be held April 19-21 at the Millie West Tennis Facility on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Six men’s and seven women’s teams will compete for conference titles and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Quarterfinal action begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 19, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and the two championship matches on Sunday, April 21.

UNCW, which is ranked 54th nationally by the ITA, is the top seed on the men’s side. The Seahawks (16-4) have reached the finals in three of the past four years and captured the CAA championship in 2009 and 2011. UNCW has an experienced squad led by junior Rafael Aita, who is 13-5 at No. 1 singles and is ranked #64 by the ITA. Senior Chris Cooprider has a 15-3 mark at No. 2 singles, sophomore Sam Williams is 15-2 at the No. 3 spot and senior Kosta Blank is 13-4. The Seahawks are also strong in doubles with Cooprider and Blank ranked 28th nationally and Williams and Aita ranked 54th.

Host William & Mary is seeded second in the tournament. The Tribe (11-14) comes into the event having won five of their final seven regular-season matches. Junior Ben Hoogland has a 13-7 singles record, including a 9-2 mark at the No. 4 slot, while senior Adrian Vodislav has nine singles wins. In doubles, the top tandem of sophomore Aaron Chaffee and senior Anton Andersson has posted a 10-7 record. W&M is looking to win its first CAA title since 2005.

James Madison, which has won three of its last four matches, is the tournament’s third seed. The Dukes (8-11) are led by senior Ryan Pool, who is 11-6 at No. 1 singles, and senior Hugo Ramadier, who is 5-2 at the No. 2 singles spot.

Rounding out the field are fourth-seeded Drexel (8-5), which features one of the conference’s top players in sophomore Badr Ouabdelmoumen, fifth-seeded Delaware (5-10), which is led by juniors Troy Beneck and Adam Lawton, and sixth-seeded Hofstra (5-10), whose top player is sophomore Ari Richman.

The top seed for the CAA women’s tennis championship is William & Mary, which is 15-5 overall and ranked 48th nationally in its first season under coach Tyler Thomson. The Tribe is led by junior Maria Belaya, who is 11-7 at No. 1 singles and is ranked 116th in the nation. Senior Anik Cepeda and freshman Leeza Nemchinov both have compiled 16-4 singles records in dual match competition. William & Mary has captured 21 CAA women’s tennis titles, with the most recent one coming in 2011.

Second-seeded UNCW has a 12-6 overall record and has won six of its last seven matches under first-year coach Evan Clark. Junior Angie Sekely has an 11-5 record at the No. 1 singles spot and the Seahawks have also gotten strong seasons from sophomore Alyssa Ritchie (14-3), junior Kelly Cameron (14-4) and freshman Christine Kharkevich (12-6). UNCW has never won a CAA championship, but has reached the semifinals for the past two years.

James Madison (11-6) is the third seed and enters the tournament having captured nine of its last 11 matches. Sophomore Taylor Pinchoff has posted a 9-8 record at the No. 1 singles spot. Senior Katherine Bulling (12-4), senior Megan Douglass (11-4) and freshman Cara Wirth (12-3) have also had strong seasons. The Dukes are also looking for their first CAA title.

Delaware (11-5), which is led by freshman Danea Jonjic (17-11) and junior Dorothy Safron (17-10), is seeded fourth, while fifth-seeded Drexel (8-5), has one of the conference’s top players in junior Zeynep Mafa. Rounding out the field is sixth-seeded Towson (12-9), which has gotten a strong season from freshman Lorena Ferrer (14-6), and seventh-seeded Hofstra (7-8), whose top player is freshman Sarah Bowen (8-7).



April 19-21 – Millie West Tennis Facility – College of William & Mary – Williamsburg, Va.

 Friday, April 19 – Quarterfinals

9 a.m. – Women - #2 UNCW vs. #7 Hofstra

                 Women - #3 James Madison vs. #6 Towson

12 p.m. – Women - #4 Delaware vs. #5 Drexel

                    Men - #3 James Madison vs. #6 Hofstra

3 p.m. – Men - #4 Drexel vs. #5 Delaware

Saturday, April 20 – Semifinals

10 a.m. – Women - #1 William & Mary vs. Delaware/Drexel winner

                   Women – UNCW/Hofstra winner vs. James Madison/Towson winner

2 p.m. – Men - #1 UNCW vs. Delaware/Drexel winner

                 Men - #2 William & Mary vs. James Madison/Hofstra winner

Sunday, April 21 – Championships

10 a.m. – Women’s Championship

2 p.m. – Men’s Championship