Elon Men’s Tennis Opens Dual Match Play Against No. 7 Duke

ELON, N.C. – After opening the 2014 season with tournament action at the Wolfpack Invite last weekend, the Elon University men’s tennis team travels to Durham, N.C. Friday, Jan. 17, for its first dual match of the season against the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.

“We know Duke is going to be a tough opponent,” said Elon head coach Michael Leonard. “They always are one of the best teams in the country, but I think this team is looking forward to the challenge. We’ve got an experienced team with a lot of upperclassmen that are excited about the challenge ahead of us.”

KEEP TRACK OF THE PHOENIX: Friday’s match at Duke can be followed with live online scoring by clicking here. Live video streaming can also be found on www.goduke.com.

ELON vs. DUKE: Friday’s match marks the seventh time the Phoenix and Blue Devils have met dating back to 2007. All-time, Elon is 0-6 against Duke. Each of the six previous matches have been played in Durham. The Blue Devils have four players ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), including the nation’s 29th-ranked player Michael Redlicki.

LAST MEETING: Elon has not had an easy road against the Blue Devils of late. Most recently, the Phoenix traveled to Duke in 2013 and were swept by a score of 9-0. Stefan Fortmann was the only Elon player to win a set on the day, but ultimately fell to then-No. 23 Fred Saba 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. On court No. 1, Cameron Silverman took on Henrique Cunha in a rematch of the Fall 2012 ITA Carolina Regional in Cary, N.C. Silverman topped Cunha on a neutral court, but Cunha made quick work of Silverman on his home court with a 6-2, 6-3 win.

ELON vs. THE ACC: In 14 years of Div. I tennis, the Phoenix has matched up against an ACC program 18 times. Elon’s only win against the ACC came in 2007 when the Phoenix hosted Boston College. The Phoenix swept the Eagles 5-0 on the afternoon. Elon nearly topped No. 34 N.C. State in Raleigh, N.C. last season, but the Wolfpack escaped with a 4-3 victory.

IN THE POLLS: After finishing the 2013 season in the ITA rankings, the Phoenix open the 2014 season ranked No. 69 in the polls while Silverman sits No. 25 in the nation. Silverman, the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year, went 14-8 last season and posted a 6-2 record in conference play while earning SoCon Player of the Month in February. The team’s lone senior picked up where he left of in Fall 2013, going 14-2 in singles action.

LOOKING BACK: Elon is coming off a season in which it earned 17 victories and won its fourth SoCon regular season title in eight years. The Phoenix breezed into the SoCon Tournament finals and battled Samford to down to the wire, but Zac Dunkle pulled out a three-set match over Silverman on court No. 1 to take the title. Despite the loss, Silverman earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament and picked up Elon’s second-ever victory in the national tournament with a three-set win over Baylor’s Julian Lenz, who was ranked No. 55 in the nation at the time. Doubles partners Silverman and Fortmann also received a bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the duo was ousted in the first round.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following Elon’s trip to Durham, the Phoenix travel to Charlottesville, Va. for the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament Jan. 24-25 where they will take on the nation’s top-ranked team, the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia has five players in the ITA singles rankings, including the nation’s No. 3 player Mitchell Frank.