CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Elon University men’s tennis fought hard in its NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship first round match, but its season came to a close on Friday, May 3, with a 4-0 loss to the No. 18-ranked Georgia Bulldogs at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center on the campus of North Carolina.
Elon finishes the 2019 season with a 21-5 record and its first CAA Championship. The Phoenix won 13 of its last 15 matches to close out the year. Elon’s matchup against Georgia was its third NCAA tournament appearance under head coach Michael Leonard as the Phoenix also made appearances in 2007 and 2014.
The Bulldogs improve to 14-10 overall with the victory and advance to the second round in its 41st NCAA Tournament appearance. The win was also 31st-year head coach Manuel Diaz’s 700th career victory.
Georgia took the early 1-0 lead after a tightly contested doubles point with wins on courts three and two. Trent Bryde and Philip Henning claimed a 6-3 win on court three to begin doubles. Although the Phoenix fought back down as much as three games on courts one and two, Robert Loeb and Alex Diaz clinched the point with a 6-4 victory at the No. 2 position. Mario Paccini and Felipe Sarrasague trailed 5-4 on court one against No. 61-ranked Emil Reinberg and Walker Duncan.
In singles action, No. 115-ranked Henning topped Frankel 6-2, 6-1 on court four to put Georgia ahead 2-0 in the match. Bryde then extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-0 with two-set victory over Felipe Osses-Konig. The Phoenix senior battled back in the first set after trailing 0-4 in the set to level the match at 5-5 before Bryde took the opening frame. Georgia’s No. 3 singles player then won the second set 6-1 to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
Blake Croyder would then clinch the victory for the Bulldogs on court six with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Taylor Foote. When the match was clinched, Elon was in a battle on each of the three remaining courts.
No. 104-ranked Sarrasague was in the process of a second-set battle tied up 4-4 with No. 38-ranked Reinberg of UGA on court one after falling 6-2 in the opening set. Paccini had earned a well-earned 6-4 win in his first set on court two before the match was clinched. Additionally, Camilo Ponce responded from a 6-3 opening set loss to win 6-2 in his second set to force a third set. However, the potential third set did not get started since the match had been clinched.
– Elon made its third NCAA Championships appearance under head coach Michael Leonard after winning its first CAA Championship on April 20 against UNCW.
– The Phoenix falls to 0-3 all-time in NCAA tournament matches with losses to Clemson, Tennessee and Georgia.
– Kyle Frankel’s 14-match win streak in singles came to an end with his loss to No. 115-ranked Philip Henning at the No. 4 position.
Now that Elon’s team season has concluded, the focus now shifts to No. 104-ranked Felipe Sarrasague as he will get set to play in the 64-player 2019 NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championships on Monday, May 20, at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. That tournament will begin after the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 16-19. Sarrasague’s opponent will be determined right before the start of the tournament.
#18 Georgia 4, Elon 0
May 3, 2019 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
1. #104 Felipe Sarrasague (ELON) vs. #38 Emil Reinberg (UGA) 2-6, 4-4 unfinished
2. Mario Paccini (ELON) vs. Robert Loeb (UGA) 6-4, 1-5 unfinished
3. Trent Bryde (UGA) def. Felipe Osses-Konig (ELON) 7-5, 6-1
4. #115 Philip Henning def. Kyle Frankel (ELON) 6-2, 6-1
5. Camilo Ponce (ELON) vs. Walker Duncan (UGA) 3-6, 6-2 unfinished
6. Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Taylor Foote (ELON) 6-4, 6-3
1. #61 Emil Reinberg/Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Felipe Sarrasague/Mario Paccini (ELON) unfinished
2. Robert Loeb/Alex Diaz (UGA) def. Kyle Frankel/Camilo Ponce (ELON) 6-4
3. Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA) def. Taylor Foote/Dino Bonetta (ELON) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,3,6)