ELON, N.C. – Every Monday, Phoenix fans can get a look at the week ahead with our “Elon Athletics Weekly Update” feature when we will preview all the week’s upcoming events for our sports teams. “Follow us” on Twitter at @elonphoenix and @elonscores, “Like” Elon Phoenix on Facebook and continue to check elonphoenix.com to stay current on all things Elon Athletics.
Elon vs. UNCG Dual Meet, Saturday, Aug. 30 at 9 a.m., Elon Cross Country Course
• Elon opens its 2014 season at home with a dual meet versus former conference foe and local rival UNCG on Saturday, Aug. 30.
• Nick Polk begins his first season as the Phoenix head cross country and assistant track and field coach. Polk arrives after serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater at Grand Valley State University where he helped produced 43 All-Americans in cross country and track and field.
• The Phoenix men returns six runners that competed in at least one race last season, including senior and All-Region performer Luis Vargas. Vargas became the first male runner in program history to earn All-Region honors last season at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships.
• On the women’s side, Elon returns six of its top seven runners from a team that earned its highest finish ever at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships with a ninth-place standing. The returning core of Haylee Dawe, Tereza Novotna, Elyse Bierut and Kimberly Johansen each earned All-Southern Conference honors last season.
Inside the Huddle Luncheon, Monday, Aug. 25, at 12 p.m., Best Western Plus
Elon Football Live Radio Show, Thursday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m., Fat Frogg Bar & Grill
Elon at Duke, Saturday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m., Durham, N.C. (ESPN3)
• Phoenix football gets going this week by visiting Duke for a 6 p.m. contest. This will be the third straight year the maroon and gold opens the season against an ACC opponent.
• Senior Kierre Brown enters the year needing just 30 yards in kick returns to become the program’s all-time leader in kick return yardage. That mark currently belongs to Rod Clark who had 1,872 kick return yards between 1991-94.
• Saturday’s game will be the first for the Phoenix under new head coach Rich Skrosky. Skrosky was named Elon’s 21st head coach in December, but is no stranger to the program. Skrosky was on the Phoenix staff from 2006-10, including the last two years as offensive coordinator.
• Fans can preview this weekend’s tilt with the Blue Devils at either the Inside the Huddle Luncheon on Monday or at the Elon Football Live Radio Show on Thursday. The luncheon is held from noon until 1 p.m. at the Best Western Plus on Huffman Mill Road in Burlington and the cost to attend is $10 and includes a catered lunch by Grill 584. The radio show is broadcast live from the Fat Frogg Bar & Grill in Elon on Thursday from 7-8 p.m. and can be heard live on WPCM 95.1 FM and 920 AM as well as at elonphoenix.com.
John Reinne/Nike Classic
Elon vs. Stetson, Friday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m., Durham, N.C.
Elon vs. Loyola Marymount, Aug. 31, at 12 p.m., Durham, N.C.
• The Phoenix begins its 42nd year of collegiate soccer this weekend at the Duke hosted John Reinne/Nike Classic with matches versus Stetson and Loyola Marymount.
• Elon will be led by first-year head coach Chris Little, who returns to Elon after taking over for longtime head coach Darren Powell in April. Previously, Little served as the lead assistant under Powell’s staff from 2010-12, helping the maroon and gold to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Elon returns 20 letterwinners and six starters from a team that earned its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and advanced to the second round of the national tournament for the first time in school history. The Phoenix also ended the year nationally ranked for the first time in program history, finishing No. 22 in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll.
• Both of Elon’s returning scorers from a year ago, senior Jason Waterman and junior James Brace, were tabbed to the 2014 Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Conference team by the league’s head coaches. Senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean received honorable mention on the all-league team while the Phoenix overall was selected to finish fourth in the conference’s preseason poll.
Elon Phoenix Classic
Elon vs. Maryland, Friday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m., Alumni Gym
Elon vs. San Jose State, Saturday, Aug. 30, at 12:30 p.m., Alumni Gym
Elon vs. Liberty, Saturday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., Alumni Gym
• The Elon volleyball team will begin its 2014 campaign this weekend when it hosts its annual Elon Phoenix Classic.
• The Phoenix welcomes Maryland, San Jose State and Liberty to Alumni Gym for the round-robin tournament. This will mark the first time the maroon and gold plays both the Terrapins and the Spartans and is the 21st meeting with the Flames.
• Elon returns 12 players from last season, including five starters. Head Coach Mary Tendler begins her 12th season at the helm of the program, while the program celebrates its 42nd year.
Women’s Soccer (1-1)
Elon vs. Clemson, Friday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m., Rudd Field
Elon at West Virginia, Sunday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m., Morgantown, W.Va.
• Elon welcomes ACC foe Clemson to Rudd Field on Friday night at 7 p.m. Before traveling to Morgantown, W.Va., to face West Virginia on Sunday.
• Elon opened the 2014 season and the university’s era in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 2-0 win over Jacksonville State on Aug. 22.
• Elon has scored a goal in 24 consecutive matches dating back to Nov. 2, 2012. The Phoenix scored in every match last season and both of its matches so far this season.