CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Elon University men’s tennis team closed the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament today, Jan. 25, with a 4-2 victory over No. 65 Samford on the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
It was the first time the Phoenix and Bulldogs have met since Samford beat Elon in the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament finals, 4-3.
“This tournament was great experience for our team playing in our first national indoor kickoff tournament,” said Elon head coach Michael Leonard. “We played well today and we’re happy to win, but we still have a ways to go to get to where we want to be. We’ll use the time off we have coming up to get a lot of good practice in after a great first two weeks to the season.”
Like in the SoCon title match, Elon took the doubles point with wins on courts No. 2 and 3. Juan Madrid and Jordan Kaufman won the first doubles match of the afternoon, picking up a 6-2 win on court No. 3 over Austin Akers and Fares Kilani. Robert Lindgren and Brian Kowalski followed just seconds after with a 6-1 win over Henry Moore and Liam Sullivan on court No. 2.
Kaufman kept the momentum going in Elon’s favor with a 6-0, 6-0 win on court No. 5 over Moore, but the Bulldogs picked up their first point with a win by Kilani on court No. 2, as the sophomore topped Stefan Fortmann 6-2, 6-2.
Samford pulled even with the Phoenix after Trey Carter defeated Kowalski on court No. 4, but Elon pulled away with two wins from Madrid on court No. 6 and Cameron Silverman on court No. 1.
Madrid swept Sullivan in the first set before having to hold off the freshman in a second set tiebreaker, 6-5(5). Silverman clinched the match with a come-from-behind win over Elliot Barnwell, 4-6, 6-1, 6-5(5).
Elon takes a 13-day break before returning to the courts at home for the first time this season when it faces Norfolk State at 9:30 a.m. and UNC Asheville at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. The two matches are the first two of a four-game homestand at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center for the Phoenix.