ELON, N.C. – The No. 2-seeded Elon University women’s tennis team got off to an excellent start in the CAA Women’s Tennis Championships, sweeping seventh-seeded Towson, 4-0, in the quarterfinals on Friday, April 21, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
With the win, Elon advances to its third straight CAA Championship semifinals and will face the No. 6 seed UNCW on Friday morning. The match will now be played at 8:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. to avoid inclement afternoon weather in the region.
The maroon and gold improved its season mark to 18-7 with the victory. Towson’s season ended with a 13-11 mark after the loss.
The Phoenix won the doubles point to take the 1-0 lead, and then followed up with three straight singles victories to secure the match, which included Erica Braschi’s epic match at No. 1 singles to clinch the victory.
Elon started off doubles play with a strong showing from Olivia Lucas and Braschi, who have played like one of the conference’s best doubles team as of late. The pair finished first and cruised to a 6-2 win on court two.
Natalia Janowicz and Maria Paraja battled Towson’s A.J. Gomer and Renate van Oorschodt on court one before falling 6-4. Suzanne Zenoni and Kristen Ward closed out doubles play on court three with a 6-3 victory to give Elon a 1-0 lead to start singles play.
In singles action, Paraja came out firing on her way to a redemption win over van Oorschodt, winning 6-2, 6-1 on court five to extend the Phoenix lead to 2-0. Close by on court four, Kirsten Ward played excellently on her way to a 6-2, 6-1 win, pulling her team within one win of the semifinals.
That one win would be provided by Braschi, who fought her way to victory and sent Elon to the semifinals with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 match clinching win.
Three matches would remain unfinished, but Elon held leads in all of them. Alex Koniaev led 7-5, 4-6, 5-4 at No. 6, while Zenoni finished with a 6-4, 4-6, 5-4 lead on court three, and Lucas’s match stood at 2-6, 6-2, 6-5 at the No. 2 position when play stopped.
– With the win, Elon advances to the CAA Championship semifinals for the third consecutive season. The program has now advanced to five straight conference tournament semifinals dating back to the 2013 season.
– The Phoenix will face the UNCW Seahawks for the first time this season on Saturday. It will be the 15th meeting between the two schools during Elon’s Division I era as the series is currently tied at 7-7. Elon has won the last four meetings dating back to 2013 season. Three of the four wins have been by a 4-3 scoreline.
– Elon won the doubles point for the 15th time this season against Towson. The maroon and gold is now a perfect 15-0 when winning the doubles point this season.
– The Phoenix will look to reach its first CAA Championship match since joining the league in 2013-14. Elon is 0-3 in CAA tournament semifinal matches thus far.
– The maroon and gold is now 14-1 overall at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center this season.
The CAA Championships continue at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., with No. 2 Elon taking on No. 6 UNCW, who upset the No. 3 seed College of Charleston on Friday afternoon.