ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s tennis team kicks off the 2017 spring season hosting North Carolina A&T and Radford on Monday, Jan. 16, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. The Phoenix faces the Aggies at 10:30 a.m. and Radford at 2 p.m.
The Phoenix returns six players – Erica Braschi, Natalia Janowicz, Olivia Lucas, Maria Paraja, Kirsten Ward and Suzanne Zenoni – from last year’s squad. The returning players on this year’s team accounted for 60 of Elon’s 70 singles wins and a trip to the CAA Tournament semifinals last season.
Elon welcomes a pair of freshmen – Alex Koniaev and Sofia Edo – to the team in 2017. Koniaev joined the team this past fall and Edo was a late addition in January. Knoiaev was rated a four-star recruit by the Tennis Recruiting Network and achieved her career-high national ranking of No. 73 in 2016. Edo comes from Argentina, where she won eight national tournaments at the junior level.
HEAD COACH ELIZABETH ANDERSON
Elizabeth Anderson is entering her 13th season as head coach of the Phoenix. Anderson earned her first-ever year accolade, after she was named the 2016 CAA Coach of the Year. She has led Elon to five straight seasons of 14 or more wins and guided the program to its first NCAA Tournament in 2014.
In its second year of competition in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Phoenix went 14-10 and an impressive 5-1 mark against teams from the CAA. Elon earned the No. 2 seed for the CAA Championship, beating Drexel in the first round to advance to the semifinals before falling to James Madison.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
North Carolina A&T brings back four players that helped the Aggies earn two wins last season against Shaw and Savannah State. Five of the seven players on the squad are underclassmen. Radford finished 2-15 overall in 2016 earning its lone victories against Presbyterian College in the regular season and versus Longwood in the Big South Tournament first round. The Highlanders have five returners and two newcomers on their 2017 squad.
Following Monday’s doubleheader, the Phoenix returns to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on Friday, Jan. 20, to host South Carolina State at 1 p.m. Elon will then hit the road to face William & Mary on Sunday, Jan. 22, for a 1 p.m. match.