SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Brian Kowalski of the Elon University men’s tennis team has been named Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week, as announced by the league office Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Kowalski earned the honor after clinching Elon’s upset of then-No. 7 Duke last Friday, Jan. 17. The junior was the last remaining Phoenix on the court after Elon had battled back from a 3-1 deficit with wins from Jordan Kaufman and Cameron Silverman. Kowalski raced out to a 5-2 lead in the decisive third set against Raphael Hemmeler before Hemmeler got a break of Kowalski to bring the set back to 5-all. Kowalski then jumped out to an early lead in the tiebreaker to seal the 4-3 victory for the Phoenix.
The win marked the highest ranked opponent Elon has topped in program history. It was also the second win in 18 attempts against an ACC program.
Kowalski is the third Elon athlete to earn the honor, as Nathan Dean of the men’s soccer team and Sam Coffer of the women’s basketball team won the award Sept. 18 and Nov. 13, respectively.
Elon continues its season Friday, Jan. 24, in Charlottesville, Va. with the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament against the nation’s top-ranked team, the Virginia Cavaliers.