WILMINGTON -- Preparing for postseason play in late April is becoming a ritual for the UNCW men's tennis team. Last weekend, the Seahawk netters secured the program's four NCAA tournament appearance by capturing it's third Colonial Athletic Association championship in five years.
"When we were at the conference tournament, we were saying we want another shot at the big dance and we earned that shot," said head coach Mait DuBois.
During the early portion of the 2013 season, UNCW received its highest ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association when it rose to No. 37 in the country. The CAA title and upcoming NCAA tournament appearance are evidence that the expectations within the program are rising.
"Like our coach told us before, it's unique that we helped build the program," said Chris Cooprider, a member of the UNCW tennis team. "We didn't come into a successful program, but we helped build a program that is successful."
Over the next two weeks, the Seahawks will prepare to capture the program's first NCAA tournament win. The NCAA regionals start during the weekend of May 10, so the squad is working to stay match-ready since the team's last match was the CAA tournament final against William and Mary on April 21.
"We'll be practicing pretty hard the next two weeks," said Kosta Blank. "I'm sure coach has something for us, but it's very important for us to work hard right now."
The Seahawks will find out their opponent for the NCAA regionals Tuesday afternoon, but the coaches and team members insist they will not adjust their preparation to fit they're opponent.
"We really push the guys that we're going to focus on ourselves and it doesn't really matter who we play," said DuBois.
In addition to preparing for tennis' version of the big dance, the Seahawks will also have to focus on academics as final exams start for the university this week.