ELON, N.C. – Set to open its 2018 schedule in January, Elon University men’s tennis announced its upcoming slate on Friday, Dec. 1. The 22-match schedule features three CAA opponents and four teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
“We are looking forward to our upcoming spring schedule,” said Elon head coach Michael Leonard. “With a good mix of upper and underclassmen on this team, we have put together a strong schedule of which several teams we compete against project to be in the national rankings to open the year. With the chance to host the CAA Tournament again in April, we believe this schedule will have us peaking at the right time with a chance to get back to the NCAA Tournament.”
This season, Elon returns back-to-back First Team All-CAA honoree Felipe Sarrasague, as well as Second Team All-CAA honorees Salvador Mijares and Mario Paccini. Mijares also joined Neal Port as Second Team All-CAA doubles honorees. Port, a redshirt senior, is the only senior on this year’s team with six juniors. Elon’s three underclassmen this year include sophomore Jacob Bicknell and freshmen Kyle Frankel and Camilo Ponce. Combined, the three underclassmen posted a 22-12 singles record with Frankel going 9-3 and Ponce 7-3.
Teams set to visit the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center this season include a Jan. 14 doubleheader with North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Wesleyan, Appalachian State, Yale, UNCW, Navy, VCU, Davidson, UNC Asheville and UNCG. Throughout the year, Elon will make trips to William & Mary, NC State, Campbell, Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, USC Upstate, Charlotte, Georgia State and James Madison. Neutral-site matches include South Carolina, Troy and North Florida.
Two teams on Elon’s 2018 slate finished the 2017 campaign in the national rankings with South Carolina checking in at No. 21 and Georgia State at No. 42. South Carolina reached the second round of the tournament before falling to national runner-up North Carolina while Georgia State fell in the first round to Kentucky.
After welcoming two CAA foes William & Mary and James Madison to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center last year, Elon will head to Virginia for matchups against the two on Jan. 26 and April 6, respectively. Last season, Elon defeated both William & Mary and JMU in the regular season, but fell in the CAA Semifinals to the Tribe.
The only home match against a conference foe this year is a March 3 meeting with defending CAA champion and NCAA Tournament participant UNCW. Elon will also welcome VCU on March 16. The Rams topped Elon in a 4-3 thriller in Richmond, Va., last year and went to the NCAA Tournament. There, they fell to ninth-seeded North Carolina in the first round.
2018 Elon Men’s Tennis Schedule
Date Opponent Location Jan. 14 North Carolina A&T Elon, N.C. Jan. 14 North Carolina Wesleyan Elon, N.C. Jan. 20 vs. South Carolina Davidson, N.C. Jan. 26 at William & Mary Williamsburg, Va. Feb. 3 vs. Troy Jacksonville, Fla. Feb. 4 at North Florida Jacksonville, Fla. Feb. 9 at NC State Raleigh, N.C. Feb. 17 Appalachian State Elon, N.C. Feb. 20 at Campbell Buies Creek, N.C. Feb. 25 Yale Elon, N.C. March 3 UNCW Elon, N.C. March 10 at Winthrop Rock Hill, S.C. March 11 Navy Elon, N.C. March 16 VCU Elon, N.C. March 19 at Coastal Carolina Conway, S.C. March 21 at USC Upstate Spartanburg, S.C. March 28 Davidson Elon, N.C. March 31 at Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. April 1 at Georgia State Atlanta, Ga. April 6 at James Madison Harrisonburg, Va. April 10 UNC Asheville Elon, N.C. April 11 UNCG Elon, N.C. April 20-22 CAA Championships Elon, N.C.