ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s tennis announced its upcoming 2019 spring schedule on Monday, Dec. 10. The 22-match schedule features four CAA opponents and five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
“We are excited about the schedule we have put together for the spring season,” said head coach Michael Leonard. “Our four seniors have worked hard this fall and are ready to lead this team. We start off the season with two of our first four matches against ACC foes Duke and Clemson, which will be great tests for us and great opportunities for us to see where we stand as a team heading into the rest of the spring.”
Elon’s 10-match home slate at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center this season includes a Jan. 21 doubleheader with Appalachian State and North Carolina A&T, defending Big South Champion Campbell, Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, Liberty, James Madison, William & Mary, USC Upstate and East Carolina.
Throughout the year, Elon will make trips to ACC foes Duke and Clemson, trek to Virginia to face VCU and Richmond, as well as play road contests against UNCW, Davidson, East Tennessee State, College of Charleston and nearby UNCG. Additionally, the Phoenix will head to Houston, Feb. 9-10, to face Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and Rice. Both of those matches will be played at Rice University. In addition to its match against Islanders on Feb. 9, the Phoenix will play one additional neutral-site contest against Georgia Southern on Feb. 16 at UNCW.
The five teams that Elon will face that made the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships include VCU, East Tennessee State, Campbell, UNCW and Duke. The maroon and gold’s lone home match against these five teams will be against the Camels on Feb. 5 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Six teams on Elon’s 2019 slate finished the 2018 campaign in the national rankings with Duke checking in at No. 30, Clemson at No. 64, UNCW at No. 66, VCU at No. 69, ETSU at No. 70 and William & Mary at No. 73. Four of the five teams that made the NCAA tournament last season all fell in the opening round.
This season, Elon will welcome two CAA foes in James Madison and William & Mary to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on March 8 and 10, respectively. Road tests against league opponents will include UNCW on Feb. 15 and College of Charleston on March 25.
For the fourth straight season, the Phoenix will host the CAA Men’s and Women’s Championships at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center in April. The 2019 CAA Men’s Tennis Championships will be played April 19-21.
This season, Elon returns the 2018 CAA Player of the Year and three-time First Team All-CAA honoree Felipe Sarrasague, as well as Second Team All-CAA honoree Mario Paccini. The Phoenix returns an experienced squad that includes five upperclassmen, led by seniors Sarrasague, Paccini, Felipe Osses-Konig and Taylor Foote. Junior Jacob Bicknell rounds out Elon’s five upperclassmen. Kyle Frankel and Camilo Ponce are Elon’s lone underclassmen heading into the 2019 season. Elon, which posted a 16-8 dual-match record and ended its season in the 2018 CAA Championship semifinals, also earned a No. 9 spot in the final ITA Carolina Region poll for the second time in the last three seasons.