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Tennis seniors earn top honors at UNCW sports banquet

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW)-– UNCW parlayed a sweep of the recent Colonial Athletic Association Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships and the stars of those two teams, Rafael Aita and Angie Sekely, received the Thomas V. Moseley Awards as UNCW's top student-athletes for 2013-14 at Monday's athletic awards banquet at the Burney Center.

In other major awards, Christi Laite (volleyball) and Shane Reybold (men’s basketball) collected the Chancellor's Cup Awards for Athletic and Academic Excellence, Kelva Atkins (women’s basketball) received the Soaring Seahawk Award, David Jones was presented with the William J. Brooks Distinguished Service Award, and the women’s tennis team earned the Team Leadership Award.

A senior from Lima, Peru, Aita was named CAA Player-of-the-Year for the second straight season after leading the men’s tennis team to its fourth NCAA title in the last six years. Aita, ranked 52nd in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, has compiled a 14-4 record this season and owns 64 singles victories, just one shy of the school record.

The talented player has been a First-Team All-CAA performer the last three seasons and won both of his matches last weekend as the top-seeded Seahawks shut out James Madison and College of Charleston by identical 4-0 scores for back-to-back conference titles. Aita was named Most Outstanding Performer at the 2013 CAA Championships.

Sekely enjoyed similar success this season with the women’s tennis team, going an astounding 18-1 in singles, with a 14-match winning streak still intact. The Ontario, Canada, product became the first player in program history to earn CAA Player-of-the-Year and Most Outstanding Performer honors after leading the Seahawks to their inaugural CAA crown.

Sekely, from Ontario, Canada, is a two-time All-CAA performer in singles and has helped the Seahawks win 12 consecutive matches heading into the NCAA Regionals.

Laite, a senior on the volleyball team, was presented the Chancellor's Cup for her work on the court and in the classroom. The Severna Park, Md., outside hitter was a First-Team All-CAA selection this year, the program’s first honoree since 1993.

Laite was an All-Tournament selection at four different events in the fall and ranked sixth in the CAA in hitting percentage and fourth in kills per set. She has made 115 appearances as a four-year starter for the team over the last four seasons.

In the classroom, Laite, a biology major, has been an honors student over the last four years and was selected the CAA’s Volleyball Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year.

Reybold, like Laite, has excelled both academically and athletically. The senior from Scaggsville, Md., made the men’s basketball team as a walk-on as a freshman and wound up playing a key role for the Seahawks this season.

The energetic Reybold led the team in field goal percentage and tied for the fourth most rebounds in a game with 19 boards vs. Wingate on Nov. 16 at Trask Coliseum. The exercise science major has earned the CAA’s Commissioner’s Award four times and will enroll in the University of Delaware’s doctoral program for physical therapy in June.

Atkins captured the seventh Soaring Seahawk Award, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to their team and exhibited good sportsmanship and conduct. The Stem, N.C., product averaged 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.1 steals each game en route to Second-Team All-CAA honors for the Seahawks.

Atkins saved her best for the 2013 CAA Women’s Basketball Championships in Upper Marlboro, Md. The point guard averaged 27.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games and was named to the CAA All-Tournament Team. She poured in a career-high 33 points against No. 1 seed and eventual champion James Madison in the CAA quarterfinals.

Jones, meanwhile, received the William J. Brooks Distinguished Service Award, established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have contributed their time and talents to the betterment of Seahawk Athletics. The former Wilmington mayor has served as president of the Seahawk Club and the UNCW Board of Visitors and spent numerous hours raising funds for athletic scholarships, as well as supporting all of the athletic programs.

For the 14th year, the Team Leadership Award was presented to recognize an athletic team that demonstrated excellent leadership skills through community service, charitable and educational events. The CAA-champion women’s tennis team collected the award for the third time after contributing its time on more than 11 different community service projects over the course of the 2013-14 year.

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– UNCW senior Lori Beth Adams received an individual entry into the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., the NCAA Women’s Golf Selection Committee announced on Monday.

The 2014 NCAA East Regional will take place May 8-10 at the SouthWood Golf Club and is one of three 54-hole tournaments that will feature 24 teams and six individual entries. The top eight teams and two individuals not part of an advancing team from each of the three regional sites will qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship, scheduled to be played May 20-23 at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

A native of Burlington, N.C., Adams fashioned a team-low 74.84 stroke average in 26 rounds played during the 2013-14 regular season. In nine events, the reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player-of-the-Year posted six top-20 results, including three top-10 finishes.
Adams has played her best golf of the season in recent weeks as she captured her first collegiate title with a four-shot victory at the UNCW Seahawk Classic in early April and finished tied for 2nd at the CAA Women’s Golf Championships just eight days ago to earn All-Tournament Team honors at the event for the third consecutive season.

The first player in program history to be rewarded with an individual entry to an NCAA Regional twice during her career, Adams is just the fourth Seahawk individual to advance to postseason play. Former UNCW standouts Sofia Hagsund (2010), Michelle Jarman (2006) and Nicole Flood (1990) were also selected during their respective careers. The invitation also means that Adams will become just the fourth player to participate in a NCAA Regional in all four years of her career, joining Jarman (2003-06), Becky Berzonski (2002-05) and Amelie Farrah (2002-05) on the exclusive list.

Named one of the Top 35 New Courses in America by Golf Magazine and ranked among America's Best New Courses by Golf Digest, SouthWood Golf Club is slated to host its first NCAA Regional. The Fred Couples and Gene Bates design has also been selected as one of the Top 50 Courses for women in Golf Magazine and voted Tallahassee's Best Golf Course by Tallahassee Magazine.

Adams is no stranger to SouthWood Golf Club as she competed on the course during the FSU Match-Up last February. She posted a 79-74-72=225 total during the 54-hole event to earn a share of 18th place in the 63-player field.

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