ELON, N.C. – For the second straight day, freshman Jordan Kaufman provided the match-clinching three-set victory for the Phoenix, leading the Elon men’s tennis team past the visiting Davidson Wildcats, 4-3, at The Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon. Elon evened its record at 6-6 and the defending league champions remained unbeaten in Southern Conference action at 3-0. The Wildcats dropped to 4-7 overall, 1-1 in the conference.
“It is good to get back-to-back wins,” Elon head coach Michael Leonard said. “We played better in doubles. We just have to continue to improve. We are better than we were three weeks ago but have a long way to go before the end of the season. We have to continue to practice and build on the momentum that we gained this weekend. The top of our lineup has been strong all year. Jordan was a big reason we got these wins this weekend.”
A tightly contested doubles point swung Elon’s way on the strength of victories by its top two doubles tandems. Phoenix rookies Stefan Fortmann and Jordan Kaufman opened the day with a quick 8-2 win against Kevin Moore and Ethan Kallick on court two. Davidson’s Connor Evins and Chris Mark made things interesting after topping Christopher Geaslen and Andrew Prince, 8-6, at number three.
Knowing the doubles point was in their hands, the number one doubles pairs weren’t going down easy. Needing a tiebreaker to decide the winner, Cameron Silverman and Eric Turner trailed Joe Schafer and Calum Gee 5-1 before reeling off six straight points to take the 9-8 (5) victory and put Elon ahead, 1-0.
Fortmann won his seventh straight singles match, improving to 9-2 in dual action with his 6-4, 6-0 defeat of Mark at number two.
Davidson got on the board when Turner was forced to retire after a long first set at number three. Nicky Kunz was leading 7-6, 3-0 when Turner retired.
With the match at 2-1, Silverman let a 4-1 lead in the second set slip a bit before he finished off Schafer with a 6-2, 7-5 victory on court one. The sophomore was perfect on the weekend with two singles and two doubles victories.
Kaufman rebounded after dropping his first set to earn his third consecutive conference victory, an important one for Elon. The rookie topped Robert Lightbourn, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the match for the Phoenix.
The match already determined, Gee battled out a 7-5, 7-5 defeat of Juan Madrid at number four. In the final match of the afternoon, Elon’s Carlos Arboleda split sets with Connor Evins at number six. The two played a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match with Evins coming out on top, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (5).
Elon remains at home for one more match when it will step outside conference action for a bout with Texas San Antonio on Wednesday, March 14 at 2 p.m.