Elon Men’s Tennis Phoenix To Start SoCon Tournament Against Chattanooga

Posted by Press Release on April 17, 2014 at 6:30 am under College | Comments are off for this article

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Ranked No. 54 in the country, the Elon University men’s tennis team will open its final Southern Conference Tournament tomorrow, April 17, as the top-seeded team in the field after winning the regular season title for the second year in a row last week. The Phoenix’s first matchup will come at 8:30 a.m. at the Champions Club against ninth-seeded Chattanooga.

ELON vs. CHATTANOOGA: When the Phoenix opened SoCon play back on March 1, Chattanooga was the opposition at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Elon defeated the Mocs 7-0, kicking off their 9-0 conference season. In the match, Elon only lost one first set, but Brian Kowalski battled back to reclaim the lead and help Elon to the sweep.

LOOKING BACK: In the 12th meeting all-time between Elon and East Carolina, the Pirates snapped Elon’s 12-match winning streak with a 4-1 victory at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on Saturday, April 12. In the match, Stefan Fortmann was the only Elon player to earn a point, as the junior pushed his individual winning streak to 12 having not lost a match since February 24 against UNC Wilmington. The loss marked Elon’s first defeat since the Phoenix fell to UNCW.

POSTSEASON AWARDS: The Phoenix cleaned up in the SoCon’s postseason awards announced Monday, April 14. Senior Cameron Silverman earned his second straight conference Player of the Year award while head coach Michael Leonard earned Coach of the Year for the second straight season and fifth time in 10 years at Elon. Silverman became the first player to repeat as Player of the Year since College of Charleston’s Or Dekel did it in 2006 and 2007. He’s also the fifth player in conference history to earn the award on multiple occasions. Silverman also earned first-team all-SoCon in singles and doubles. Joining him on the first-team all-conference singles team was Fortmann, who posted a 13-5 mark this season from the No. 2, 3 and 4 positions. Robert Lindgren, Brian Kowalski and Jordan Kaufman were each selected to the second-team all-conference, which was selected by position. Kaufman joined Silverman on the first-team all-conference doubles quad while Fortmann and Madrid were named to the second-team all-conference doubles side.

SOCON DOMINATION: Elon’s regular season title marks the fifth regular season championship in the last nine years for the Phoenix. The perfect 9-0 conference mark is the second time Elon has accomplished the feat, the first time being in 2007 in Leonard’s third season at the helm of the Phoenix. Elon went on to win the SoCon Tournament that season and earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament. This season, the only match in which Elon did not score six point or more was against Wofford on Sunday, April 6. In its eight other SoCon matches, Elon won either 6-1 or 7-0. The Phoenix only lost six individual points in conference play this season.

CHASING HISTORY: To date, Silverman has posted 59 career dual singles victories in his four years at Elon. The mark sits five behind the program-record of 64, which was set by former Elon tennis standout Damon Gooch in 2009.

PHOENIX IN THE POLLS: In the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national polls released yesterday, April 15, the Phoenix checked in at No. 54 while Silverman individually sits at No. 35. Since the start of the season, Elon has jumped 10 spots in the rankings. Three weeks ago, Elon earned a program-best rank of No. 39 in the country.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Fortmann was honored as the league’s Player of the Month last week, April 3, after posting a perfect 13-0 mark in both singles and doubles throughout the month of March. The junior started the month on No. 4 singles, but moved up to No. 2 as the month went along. Throughout those six matches, Fortmann did not drop a set. The duo of Fortmann and Juan Madrid did not drop more than five games in any doubles match after going undefeated for the month and only losing one doubles match since being paired with each other. Fortmann has continued his streak, as he has not dropped a singles or doubles match in three April outings.

SOCON PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: This season, the Southern Conference has honored eight players with the league’s Player of the Week award. Four of those awards have gone to Elon players—Silverman, Kaufman and Fortmann. Silverman was the first player to win the award this year on Feb. 18. The senior has picked up wins this season against Duke’s Jason Tahir, who was ranked No. 52 in the nation individually while Duke was No. 7, in Elon’s upset of the Blue Devils on Jan. 17 and Samford’s Elliot Barnwell on two separate occasions. Kaufman went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles throughout the two matches against Brown and Chattanooga that led to the honor on March 4. Fortmann was named the Player of the Week March 11 after breezing through singles matches against Samford and Davidson, winning each match by a score of 6-2, 6-2. He followed that up with the award a week later with winning the award again after staying perfect in all matches played March 10-16.

KOWALSKI HONORED: Kowalski became the third Elon athlete throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to be named the Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week on Jan. 22. The honor came after Kowalski won the decisive match against No. 7 Duke, one that gave Elon the upset of the Blue Devils on Jan. 17.Nathan Dean of the men’s soccer team, Sam Coffer of the women’s basketball team and Frida Jansaker of the women’s tennis team are Elon’s three other athletes to earn the award.

FRIENDS OF JACLYN: On March 9, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams held Friends of Jaclyn Day at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center to raise awareness for pediatric brain tumors. A week later, a very special guest named Jake Ingham joined the Phoenix family when the 12-year old, signed a contract with the teams. To read the full story about Ingham joining the teams, click HERE.

LOOKING AHEAD: With a win tomorrow against Chattanooga, Elon would take on the winner of the matchup between No. 4 Appalachian State and No. 5 Samford on Friday, April 18, at 10 a.m. The Phoenix topped Appalachian State last week on April 9 to clinch the SoCon regular season title at home by the score of 6-1. Against Samford this season, Elon came out with a 4-2 victory in Charlottesville, Va. in the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament and a 7-0 sweep at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on March 8. If Samford tops Appalachian State, the match between the Phoenix and Bulldogs would set up another rematch of last year’s SoCon Tournament finals in which Samford pulled out a 4-3 victory over Elon to win the title.

Full Men’s Bracket

Tournament Central

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