ELON, N.C – The Elon University men’s tennis team opens its home slate hosting Barton College and Bluefield College. First serve at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center against the Bulldogs will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, while the Phoenix and the Rams will get started at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.
HOME SWEET HOME
Over the last three seasons, Elon is a combined 22-7 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Last season, the Phoenix finished 6-3 at home, including a win against conference foe James Madison on Feb. 2, 2015.
Chris Humphreys, Robert Lindgren and Neal Port represent a trio of returnees from last year’s squad. Lindgren, who is entering his senior campaign, earned eight singles wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions in 2015. Humphreys was a key doubles contributor for the Phoenix, primarily competing in the No. 2 pairing.
Seven of Elon’s 10 players are beginning their respective first seasons with the program. Six of those newcomers are true freshmen, while junior Petar Tomic comes to Elon as a transfer from Auburn. Tomic collected 12 combined singles wins for the Tigers over the past two spring seasons.
In his first competition as a Phoenix, Mario Paccini reached the round of 32 at the ITA Carolina Regionals in October. The freshman topped opponents from Furman and Gardner-Webb and finished 2-1 in singles play in the event.
HEAD COACH MICHAEL LEONARD
Michael Leonard begins his 12th season as Elon’s director of tennis and head men’s tennis coach. Leonard is a five-time winner of the Southern Conference Coach of the Year award and has led the program to five conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Elon went 10-13 last season, the team’s first year of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Phoenix beat Drexel in the CAA Tournament before falling to William & Mary in the semifinals.
2016 CAA TOURNAMENT
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 SoCon Tournament.
The Phoenix head to Virginia for a tough road swing. On Saturday, Feb. 6, Elon will take on No. 1-ranked Virginia at noon, followed by Liberty on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 1 p.m.