ITA Kick-Off Weekend tests youthful Seahawks


UNCW freshman Ignasi de Reuda, who played No. 4 singles for the Seahawks versus USF, readies his forehand against Appalachian State on Jan. 21. 

Calvin Shomaker | Copy Editor | @cshomaker12

After beating Appalachian State 5-2 on Jan. 21, the UNC Wilmington men’s tennis team visited Gainesville, Fla. for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 28 and 29.

On Saturday, the Seahawks faced the tournament favorite and host in the 11th-ranked Florida Gators. Florida won at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to take an early 1-0 lead before clinching a 4-0 victory with wins coming from No. 6, 1 and 3 singles.

On Sunday, things didn’t get much easier as the Seahawks squared off against the 24th-ranked South Florida Bulls.

UNCW’s Josh Hublitz faced a tough test versus No. 77 Peter Bertran and fell 6-4, 6-2. Andres Torres played USF’s No. 3 in a close 7-5 first set only to fall 6-2 in the second. The Seahawks were defeated 6-1 by the Bulls. Australian freshman Daniel Groom grabbed UNCW’s only win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.

The Gators defeated Louisiana State 4-0 in the championship match and will join 14 other regional winners at next month’s ITA NCAA Division I National Team Indoor Championships.

The Seahawks, who have 8 freshmen on the spring roster, will look to rebound on Feb. 4 when Gardner-Webb visits UNCW at 1 p.m.