ELON, N.C. – With the match knotted at three-all, Elon rookie Jordan Kaufman pulled out a three-set victory over Chattanooga’s Jackson Tresnan at number five singles to secure the 4-3 victory for the Phoenix in Southern Conference men’s tennis action at The Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. Elon (5-6, 2-0) has won 13 straight league victories at home and eight consecutive matches against the Mocs.
Kaufman and Tresnan produced an entertaining match all afternoon. In the opening set, Kaufman trailed 4-0, before winning six games in a row to take the set 6-4. Tresnan trailed 3-2 in the second set but the Chattanooga junior earned the next four games to force a deciding set. With action on the other five courts concluded and the match now tied, all eyes turned to court five to see how the third set would play out.
With the crowd support behind him, Kaufman jumped out quickly, collecting two break points to go on top 4-0. Tresnan fought back and made it 4-2, before Kaufman won the next game. Elon had a match point, but Tresnan made it deuce and then won the game to make it 5-3. With the serve back in his hands, Kaufman took the set and the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 match-clincher.
“Chattanooga is a good team who has gotten a lot better and we knew this would be a tough match,” Elon head coach Michael Leonard said. “It is great to see a freshman step up for us because we are so young. We need our young guys to step up in these big matches to be successful this year. It is also good to have Eric (Turner) back at full strength after he had been hampered with illness and injury earlier this year.”
Chattanooga got off to a fast start, picking up the critical doubles point with victories at number two and three. Elon’s top duo of Cameron Silverman and Eric Silverman cruised to an 8-3 victory against Chris Smith and Ankit Chopra to get things started. But the Mocs evened things up when Jackson Tresnan and Pavels Grigorjevs topped Christopher Geaslen and Andrew Prince, 8-3, on court three. Manuel Barroetavena and Roberto Vieira broke midway through the set on court two and then took an 8-5 doubles point-clinching win over Stefan Fortmann and Kaufman.
In singles action, Elon quickly pulled ahead, rolling to wins at number two and three. Fortmann dropped only one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Smith. The Phoenix freshman has now won six consecutive singles matches. Turner had little trouble with Stephen Crofford, earning a 6-2, 6-1 win to put the Phoenix on top 2-1.
Chattanooga tied the score again when Barroetavena came up with a 6-4, 6-0 win against rookie Juan Madrid on court four. The tie was short-lived as Silverman topped Vieira in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, at number one to pull Elon back ahead, 3-2.
The match at number six was one of the most competitive of the afternoon, both sets requiring a tiebreaker to decide the set. Grigorjevs pulled out the 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5) victory over Prince to make it 3-3 and put all the pressure on court five.
Elon will look to remain unbeaten in the conference when the Davidson Wildcats come to town tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.