Elon Athletics Weekly Update

ELON, N.C. – Every Monday, Phoenix fans can get a look at the week ahead with our “Elon Athletics Weekly Update” feature when we will preview all the week’s upcoming events for our sports teams. “Follow us” on Twitter at @elonphoenix and @elonscores, “Like” Elon Phoenix on Facebook and continue to check elonphoenix.com to stay current on all things Elon Athletics.

Cross Country
Elon at Demon Deacon Quad, Friday, Aug. 30, Winston-Salem, N.C.

• The Phoenix opens its 2013 campaign at the Demon Deacon Quad for the second straight year. The women claimed the title at relay-style meet last season, while the men finished third.
• The women’s team was selected as the preseason favorite for the Southern Conference title for the second consecutive year by the league’s coaches. Elon returns five of its top seven runners from last year, including 2012 all-conference performers senior Allyson Oram, junior Tereza Novtna and sophomores Elyse Bierut and Kaitlin Snapp.
• Junior Luis Vargas heads the returning group on the men’s side after becoming the first Elon male to earn first team All-SoCon honors a year ago. Vargas also set school records in both the 8K and 10K races last season and is one of five active runners who hold record times on program’s all-time top-10 lists.

Elon at Georgia Tech, Saturday, Aug. 31, at 12 p.m., Atlanta, Ga. (ESPN3)

• The Phoenix football squad will open its 2013 season, its 92nd season of intercollegiate competition, against the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech on Saturday. It will be the first meeting between Elon and Georgia Tech.
• Four Elon players were chosen as preseason All-SoCon players. Junior linebacker Jonathan Spain was a first-team pick, while senior offensive lineman Clay Johnson, junior wide receiver Kierre Brown and senior defensive back Chandler Wrightenberry were all second-team honorees.
• Head coach Jason Swepson named junior Mike Quinn as the team’s starting quarterback. Quinn will be just the third quarterback to start a game for the maroon and gold in the past seven seasons.
• Saturday’s tilt with Georgia Tech will be the sixth for Elon all-time against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.

Men’s Soccer
Duke Classic
Elon vs. Northeastern, Friday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m., Durham, N.C.
Elon vs. Rutgers, Sunday, Sept. 1, at 12 p.m., Durham, N.C.

• The two-time defending Southern Conference Tournament champions open its 41st season of collegiate soccer on Friday, Aug. 30, vs. Northeastern at the Duke Classic in Durham, N.C.
• Phoenix head coach Darren Powell returns nine starters from his 2012 NCAA Tournament team, including 2013 preseason all-league selections senior midfielders Daniel Lovitz and Matt Wescoe and junior goalkeeper Nathan Dean.
• Heading into his ninth season at Elon, Powell has led the Phoenix to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, back-to-back league tournament championships and two SoCon regular-season crowns. His 79 wins at Elon ranks second all-time in school history.

Kristen Dickmann Invitational
Elon vs. Illinois-Chicago, Friday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m., Annapolis, Md.
Elon vs. UNC Wilmington, Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m., Annapolis, Md.
Elon at Navy, Saturday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m., Annapolis, Md.

• The Elon volleyball team opens the 2013 season in the Kristen Dickmann Invitational on Friday, Aug. 30, in Annapolis, Md. The Phoenix will face Illinois-Chicago, UNC Wilmington and host Navy in the two-day tournament. Elon has recorded a 5-1 in its last six season openers.
• The maroon and gold return four of its starting six players from the 2012 season, including SoCon all-freshman selections Megan Gravley and Ana Nicksic.
• Elon has been selected to finish sixth out of the league’s 11 teams by the conference’s coaches in the SoCon Preseason Poll that was released last week.

Women’s Soccer (1-0-1)
Elon vs. Charlotte, Sunday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m., Rudd Field

• Elon continues its three-match home stand this week with a non-conference matchup with instate foe Charlotte on Sunday night, Sept. 1.
• The Phoenix went 1-0-1 last week, following a 2-0 win at Coastal Carolina in its season opener and a 1-1 draw versus ECU on Aug. 25.
• Nicole Dennion scored and assisted in Elon’s win at Coastal on Aug. 23, while Chelsey Stark netted the Phoenix’s lone score against ECU two days later.
• Following Sunday’s match against Charlotte, Elon closes its home stand on Sunday, Sept. 8, when it welcomes instate rival High Point to Rudd Field.