ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s tennis team will flash back to the pre-Southern Conference days this weekend with two matches against Big South Conference opponents Winthrop and Radford.
The first match of the weekend is set for tomorrow, March 14, on the road in Rock Hill, S.C. against the Winthrop Eagles at 2 p.m.
ELON vs. WINTHROP: Friday’s match will mark the eighth time the Phoenix and Eagles have matched up against each other, but it’s just the second time since the 2003 season. Last year, Elon topped Winthrop by a score of 6-1 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center, but as Big South Conference opponents prior to the end of the 2003 season, Winthrop held a significant series advantage that included knocking Elon out of the Big South Tournament in 2001 and 2002. Overall, the Eagles hold a 5-2 advantage in the series.
LOOKING BACK: Though Elon dropped its first point in three SoCon matches Sunday, March 9, against Davidson, Elon cruised to a 6-1 victory at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center over the Wildcats. Cameron Silverman, Jordan Kaufman and Juan Madrid each dropped three games or less on the way to wins at Nos. 1, 5 and 6 singles, respectively, on the way to the convincing victory.
PHOENIX IN THE POLLS: In the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national polls released March 11, the Phoenix checked in at No. 44 while Silverman individually sits at No. 38. Since the start of the season, Elon has jumped 20 spots in the national rankings from its initial spot of No. 64.
SOCON PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: This season, the Southern Conference has honored four players with the league’s Player of the Week award. Three of those awards have gone to Elon players—Silverman, Kaufman and Stefan Fortmann. Silverman was the first player to win the award this year on Feb. 18. The senior has picked up wins this season against Duke’s Jason Tahir, who was ranked No. 52 in the nation individually while Duke was No. 7, in Elon’s upset of the Blue Devils on Jan. 17 and Samford’s Elliot Barnwell on two separate occasions. Kaufman went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles throughout the two matches against Brown and Chattanooga that led to the honor on March 4. Fortmann was named the Player of the Week March 11 after breezing through singles matches against Samford and Davidson, winning each match by a score of 6-2, 6-2.
KOWALSKI HONORED: Junior Brian Kowalski became the third Elon athlete throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to be named the Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week on Jan. 22. The honor came after Kowalski won the decisive match against No. 7 Duke, one that gave Elon the upset of the Blue Devils on Jan. 17. Nathan Dean of the men’s soccer team, Sam Coffer of the women’s basketball team andFrida Jansaker of the women’s tennis team are the other three Elon athletes to earn the award.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Phoenix closes the weekend back at home against another Big South opponent, the Radford Highlanders, on Sunday, March 16, at 1 p.m. Last time Elon took on Radford, the Highlanders picked up a 5-1 victory in Radford, Va. Last season’s match between the two sides was cancelled.