ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s tennis won three straight singles matches after trailing 2-1 to earn a 4-3 victory on Senior Day against Charleston Southern, Sunday afternoon, April 8, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Before the match, the Phoenix recognized its three-member of senior class of Erica Braschi, Olivia Lucas and Kirsten Ward.
Suzanne Zenoni and Ward finished unbeaten in singles and doubles to lead the Phoenix. Elon would win three straight singles matches and Maria Paraja’s victory on court four clinched the match for the maroon and gold.
“I’m very impressed with the way our team came together to earn this win on Senior Day,” said head coach Elizabeth Anderson. “This is a good win for us. Charleston Southern is a good team that has had a lot of success over the last few years. I’m also very proud of our senior class for everything they have done for our program. I can’t wait to see them continue to fight and lead us to a strong finish this season. We’d also like to thank all of the families of our seniors for their support of the program.”
Elon improves to 13-11 overall and 8-3 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center this season. Charleston Southern, who was the 2017 Big South Championship runner-up last season, falls to 10-6 overall with the loss.
Charleston Southern won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Suzanne Zenoni and Kirsten Wardmade quick work of No. 3 Bucs’ duo Yana Morar and Kimberley Koerner 6-2, to give Elon the early advantage in doubles. CSU leveled the point as Sophie Cloessner and Madalina Man earned a 6-4 win on court one, setting up court two to decide the doubles point.
Facing match point three times, Filippa Ericson and Valeria Koussenkova of Charleston Southern fought back from a 40-15 game deficit down 5-4 in the match to defeat Braschi and Lucas 7-5 to clinch the doubles point for the Bucs.
In singles action, Zenoni got the Phoenix off to a quick start with a clean 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Ericson at the No. 3 position. CSU responded with a victory on court one as Cloessner gave the Bucs a 2-1 lead in the match.
Then, two seniors came through to give Elon its first lead of match. Braschi answered with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Koussenkova at the No. 2 position to level the match at 2-2, and Ward followed with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 6 to give the Phoenix a 3-2 advantage.
Paraja faced adversity throughout her match and battled for a three-set victory at the No. 4 position to clinch the win for Elon. Trailing 2-5 in her first set, Paraja won five unanswered games to take a 7-5 victory. Although she lost her second set 6-3, Paraja was unfazed and rolled 6-0 to clinch the victory for the Phoenix.
Alex Koniaev fought until the very end in her match at No. 5, but lost to Michelle Schmitz after the match was decided. Facing a 5-4 deficit in her second set, she won three straight games to take the set 7-5 and forced a third set. Although Koniaev fought back down 4-1 to cut the deficit to 4-3, Schmitz pulled away for the 6-3 win in the final set to claim CSU’s third point.
The Phoenix hits the road to face James Madison at Hillside Courts in its regular season finale on Saturday, April 14, at 10 a.m.