ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s tennis team will begin a streak of six straight Southern Conference matches when it takes on The Citadel tomorrow afternoon, March 23, in Charleston, S.C. at 1 p.m.
ELON vs. THE CITADEL: Tomorrow’s match marks the 12th time the Phoenix and Bulldogs will meet with Elon holding a 9-2 mark over The Citadel. Last season, Elon took a 6-1 decision at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. The Phoenix’s last loss to the Bulldogs came in 2010.
LOOKING BACK: It didn’t come easily, but the Phoenix extended their winning streak to six matches Sunday, March 16, with a 4-2 victory over Radford University at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro, N.C. Though two of the team’s most consistent players of late—Cameron Silverman and Jordan Kaufman—dropped matches on court Nos. 1 and 5, respectively, others like Stefan Fortmann, Robert Lindgren andBrian Kowalski picked up the slack to help Elon gain the lead. The two teams didn’t play doubles, instead electing to use it as a tiebreaker should singles finish tied at three. Juan Madrid ensured doubles wasn’t needed with a match-clinching win on court No. 6.
PHOENIX IN THE POLLS: In the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national polls released March 18, the Phoenix checked in at No. 39 while Silverman individually sits at No. 38. The mark is a program-best, which tops the previous best set earlier this season when the Phoenix checking in at No. 40 in the country. Since the start of the season, Elon has jumped 25 spots in the national rankings from its initial spot of No. 64.
SOCON PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: This season, the Southern Conference has honored five players with the league’s Player of the Week award. Four of those awards have gone to Elon players—Silverman, Kaufman and 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. He followed that up with the award a week later with winning the award again after going 3-0 for all matches played March 10-16.
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.
FRIENDS OF JACLYN: On March 9, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams held Friends of Jaclyn Day at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center to raise awareness for pediatric brain tumors. A week later, a very special guest named Jake Ingham joined the Phoenix family when the 12-year old, signed a contract with the teams. Ingham is expected to return to Elon later this season for some of the teams’ remaining home matches.
LOOKING AHEAD: Elon will continue its spring break road trip on Tuesday, March 25, in Statesboro, Ga. against the Georgia Southern Eagles. The match is set for 2:30 p.m.