ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s tennis team released its 2016 schedule today, Dec. 3, as announced by director of tennis and head coach Michael Leonard. The 22-match slate includes three matchups against ACC opponents and is highlighted by the CAA Tournament, which Elon will host for the first time.
The Phoenix will play 15 matches at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center in 2016 and faces three teams – James Madison, William & Mary and College of Charleston – from the CAA.
“We are excited about our upcoming schedule with so many matches being played at home,” Leonard said. “We look forward to hosting the CAA Tournament in April for the first time. It should present a great atmosphere for the students and the community.”
Elon returns Chris Humphreys, Robert Lindgren and Neal Port from the 2015 team that reached the semifinals of the CAA Tournament. The trio of Humphreys, Lindgren and Port combined for 15 singles wins and contributed to over half of the team’s doubles victories last season.
Here are five things to know about the 2016 Elon men’s tennis schedule:
NCAA Tournament competition
Elon will face five teams that played in the 2015 Men’s Tennis Championship: Duke, NC State, William & Mary, Navy and defending national champion Virginia.
The 2016 season will mark the 11th time in the last 13 seasons that Elon faces a team from the ACC. The Phoenix opens the season at Duke Jan. 15 and travels to NC State and Virginia on Jan. 17 and Feb. 6, respectively.
Navy, which was knocked out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, will come to Elon for a March 14 match while William & Mary, which earned an NCAA Tournament bid by winning the CAA Tournament, will face the Phoenix in Elon April 3.
Continuing in the Colonial
The 2016 season will be Elon’s second as a member of the CAA. The Phoenix travels to James Madison March 18 and hosts College of Charleston and William & Mary on April 2 and 3, respectively, the team’s only matches against league competition.
Elon finished with a record of 10-13 in its inaugural season in the CAA and beat College of Charleston and James Madison to go 2-0 against CAA teams last season. The Phoenix earned the No. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament and advanced past seventh-seeded Drexel before falling to third-seeded William & Mary in the semifinals.
CAA Tournament comes to town
In July, Elon was selected to host the 2016 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, which will be held April 21-24 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center and the Burlington Tennis Center. It will mark the first-ever CAA Tournament hosted by the Phoenix and first conference tournament hosted by the program since the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament. Elon also hosted the SoCon Tournament in 2009 and the Big South Tournament from 2000-2003.
For the first time in program history, Elon will play matches against Bluefield and Navy. Bluefield, which plays at the NAIA level, comes to Elon Jan. 23 while Navy, which finished 20-11 in 2015 and earned an NCAA Tournament berth by winning the Patriot League, faces the Phoenix March 14.
The 2016 slate includes 12 common opponents from last season. Elon will host Davidson (March 15), UNC Greensboro (March 31) and Furman (April 10), all former Phoenix opponents in the SoCon, this season.
The Phoenix also hosts Virginia Commonwealth (Feb. 28) and Old Dominion (March 5) after facing the Rams and Monarchs in road matches in 2015.