Elon Men’s Tennis Phoenix Travels to New England to Face Brown, Yale

ELON, N.C. – Riding a four-match winning streak, Elon University men’s tennis hits the road for a trip to New England this weekend to take on Brown on Saturday, Feb. 25, and Yale on Sunday, Feb. 26. First serve against Brown is set for 9 a.m. and opening ball against Yale is slated for 10 a.m.

Elon closed a four-match homestand Sunday, Feb. 19, with a 6-1 victory over Longwood. The Phoenix swept the doubles point with a pair of 6-3 wins at Nos. 1 and 2 and a 6-1 win at No. 3 before winning five of six singles matches. The victory closed a six-match run against teams from the state of Virginia with Elon topping Liberty, William & Mary, James Madison and Longwood during its four-match home swing.

Meeting for the third time this weekend, Elon is 2-0 against Brown with a pair of 4-3 victories in both 2014 and 2016. Both matches were played in North Carolina. Elon has battled Yale just once to date with the Phoenix losing a 6-1, season-opening decision at home back in 2004.

The Bears own a 6-2 record this year, but are on a six-match winning streak since dropping their first two matches of the season to William & Mary and Buffalo. The streak includes victories over Bryant, Boston College, Binghamton and Quinnipiac to go with a pair of wins over Boston University. Each of Brown’s matches this season have been at home. Brown will take on UConn later in the day Saturday after battling Elon in the morning.

The Bulldogs stand at 5-3 through eight regular-season matches, but have lost three of their last five overall to Harvard, Cornell and Loyola Marymount. Earlier this year, Yale opened its spring season against William & Mary and beat the Tribe 5-2, just like Elon did back on Feb. 11. Yale also beat Furman earlier this month, a team Elon fell to 5-2.

Petar Tomic and Chris Humphreys have now won the CAA Doubles Team of the Week honor in back-to-back weeks. The duo is 4-0 in its last four matches together at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles. Last week on Feb. 15, the duo teamed with Felipe Sarrasague’s CAA Player of the Week nod to sweep the CAA weekly awards.

The Phoenix posted a 17-6 record throughout 2016, which included a 12-3 mark in matches played at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. After losing three of the team’s first five matches of the season to No. 13 Duke, No. 40 NC State and No. 1 Virginia, Elon went 14-2 in its final 16 regular-season matches. The run included a seven-match winning streak from March 11 to April 3 and was capped with a win over No. 62 William & Mary. Elon dropped a 4-3 decision in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament to College of Charleston to finish the season.

True freshmen played a big role in Elon’s 2016 success. Taylor Foote (1), Salvador Mijares (13), Felipe Osses-Konig (6), Mario Paccini (13) and Felipe Sarrasague (15) combined for 48 of the team’s 86 singles wins (56 percent) over the course of 2016. Sarrasague and senior Robert Lindgren led Elon with a team-high 15 dual-match singles wins.

Winner of the 2016 CAA Coach of the Year award, Michael Leonard is now in his 13th season as Elon’s director of tennis and head men’s tennis coach. Leonard is a five-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year and has led Elon to five conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances, the last coming in 2014. He has won 189 matches to date as the leader of the Phoenix.

The Phoenix will return home for a season-long five-match homestand starting on March 2 against Campbell. First serve from the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center is set for 2 p.m. During the homestand, Elon will also host North Florida, Charlotte, Georgia State and College of Charleston.