Elon Wins SoCon Men’s Tennis Title with 4-1 Victory vs. Furman

Posted by Press Release on April 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – For the first time since the 2007 season, the Elon University men’s tennis team is the Southern Conference Tournament champion after defeating the second-seeded Furman Paladins 4-1 today, April 19, at the Champions Club.

The Phoenix clinched the title when #Stefan Fortmann# finished off Matt Browne 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 on court No. 2. The victory was Fortmann’s 15th win in a row after starting the season with a 1-5 record.

“I’m so happy for this group of players,” said Elon head coach #Michael Leonard#. “After losing a heartbreaker in the conference final last year at Elon, to see these guys come back and compete and battle throughout the year to give themselves this opportunity and come through, it’s something they’ll never forget. It’s been a great group to coach and we’re looking forward to going to the NCAA Tournament next month.”

The title marks the second tournament championship in program history and the win finishes off a perfect 12-0 mark in SoCon play this season. It’s also the second time the Phoenix has swept the SoCon regular season and tournament championships, as Elon accomplished the feat in 2007.

The win also earns the Phoenix the Southern Conference’s automatic bid into next month’s NCAA Tournament.

Elon didn’t make winning the championship easy on itself, as the Phoenix struggled out of the gate in doubles competition against the Paladins. After dropping the point in the first matchup on April 5 between the two teams, Elon seemed trending that direction again until #Brian Kowalski# and #Robert Lindgren# made a comeback on court No. 2 after #Stefan Fortmann# and #Juan Madrid# clinched their 14th victory of the season on court No. 3.

On court No. 2, Kowalski and Lindgren trailed 4-2 in the set before starting a comeback. With multiple breaks of Furman’s Adam Steryous and Jacob Behal, the Elon duo came back to win the set 8-5 to clinch the doubles point for Elon.

In singles, #Cameron Silverman# got off to a hot start on court No. 1 against Steryous, as the senior breezed to a 6-1 victory in the first set before winning the second set 6-3 to put Elon up 2-0 on the Paladins.

Though Furman picked up its first and only point of the afternoon with a win on court No. 5 to cut the lead to 2-1, Kowalski defeated Joel Cook on court No. 4 by the score of 6-2, 6-3 to regain the momentum for the Phoenix.

Minutes after Kowalski clinched Elon’s third point of the match, Fortmann broke Browne on court No. 2, then held serve to clinch the title for the Phoenix.

Silverman was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after winning his 62nd career match at Elon. He added the accolade to an already outstanding list of honors, including back-to-back conference Player of the Year awards and six SoCon Player of the Week awards, just to name a few.

The championship comes one year after the Phoenix was upended in the SoCon Tournament finals at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center by the Samford Bulldogs. In that match, the title came down to court No. 1. This time around, Elon made it a bit easier in winning 4-1.

Elon will now await the NCAA Tournament draw to see where it will play and what seed it will be. The tournament is slated to start on May 15.

Tennis Match Results
Furman vs Elon
Apr 19, 2014 at Chattanooga, TENN
(Champions Club)
Elon 4, Furman 1

Singles competition
1. Cameron Silverman (ELON) def. Adam Steryous (FUR) 6-1, 6-3
2. Stefan Fortmann (ELON) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
3. Robert Lindgren (ELON) vs. Luke Synn (FUR) 6-2, 2-6, 1-0, unfinished
4. Brian Kowalski (ELON) def. Joel Cook (FUR) 6-2, 6-3
5. Juan Sheppard (FUR) def. Jordan Kaufman (ELON) 6-4, 6-3
6. Juan Madrid (ELON) vs. Ben Horst (FUR) 4-6, 6-2, 1-2, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Matt Browne/Joel Cook (FUR) def. Cameron Silverman/Jordan Kaufman (ELON) 8-5
2. Brian Kowalski/Robert Lindgren (ELON) def. Adam Steryous/Jacob Behal (FUR) 8-5
3. Stefan Fortmann/Juan Madrid (ELON) def. Ben Horst/Alex Christ (FUR) 8-2

Match Notes:
Furman 16-9
Elon 19-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,5,4,2)

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