RICHMOND, Va. — The Colonial Athletic Association announced that Elon men’s tennis’s Akram El Sallaly, Kyle Frankel, Camilo Ponce and Chung-Han Tsai earned all-conference honors for the spring 2021 season. El Sallaly and Frankel were named first-team selections, while Ponce was tabbed a second-team honoree. Frankel and Ponce in addition to El Sallaly and Tsai also earned All-CAA Second Team Doubles nods.
“It’s great to see Kyle, Akram, Camilo and Han be recognized by the conference for their hard work this season,” said head coach Michael Leonard.
El Sallaly finished the season with a 12-6 record in singles, tying for second on the team in wins. The graduate student won five of his first six matches to start the season, earning CAA Player of the Week honors after clinching Elon’s 4-3 victory over Kennesaw State with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Raul Garcia in No. 3 singles. Following the match against Furman, El Sallaly recorded wins against William & Mary, Wake Forest, Radford and Longwood. His final three victories of the season came at home against Coastal Carolina, UNCG and James Madison.
Frankel led the Phoenix in singles with a team-high 15-2 record, including an 8-0 run to start the season and a 11-2 overall record in the No. 1 position. After he earned his first four wins against Liberty, Davidson, North Carolina A&T and Gardner-Webb, Frankel was named the conference player of the week for the fourth time in his career. During the month of March, he earned three additional wins against Radford, Longwood and Coastal Carolina. To finish the season, Frankel won four consecutive matches, with two of them coming against Drexel and William & Mary in the CAA Championship.
Ponce posted a 12-6 singles record, competing mainly in the No. 3 and 4 positions. The junior won eight of his first 10 matches, including a 6-3, 6-4 victory over William & Mary’s George Davis. During the same week, he defeated Furman’s Drew Singerman (6-0, 6-4) to secure CAA Player of the Week honors. Ponce ended his junior campaign with a 4-1 record in his final five matches, including victories over players from UNCG, NC Central, James Madison and Drexel.
Frankel and Ponce went undefeated on the season (8-0), competing in the No. 2 spot. After delivering wins against Radford and Longwood, the pair claimed two big wins against VCU and Charlotte. The pair then picked up victories against UNCG and James Madison to end the regular season, eventually rounding out the 2021 season with 6-2 and 6-1 victories against Drexel and William & Mary in the conference championship. Over the course of the season, they earned doubles team of the week status twice.
El Sallaly and Tsai earned a 10-5 record in the No. 1 position. Following a 4-0 start to the season, they won CAA Doubles Team of the Week honors. The pair then won four of its next six matches, including victories over players from Furman, William & Mary, Radford and Longwood. The duo’s final wins of the season came against East Tennessee State and NC Central.
All-CAA First Team
Bruno Caula, UNCW
Akram El Sallaly, Elon
Kyle Frankel, Elon
Davide Innocenti, UNCW
Lev Kazakov, William & Mary
Holden Koons, James Madison
All-CAA First Team Doubles
Bruno Caula/Daniel Groom, UNCW
George Davis/Brenden Volk, William & Mary
Holden Koons/Paul Mendoza, James Madison
All-CAA Second Team
George Davis, William & Mary
Pierre-Louis Dodens, Delaware
Daniel Groom, UNCW
Camilo Ponce, Elon
Bekhzod Rasamatov, UNCW
James Wilkinson, Delaware
All-CAA Second Team Doubles
Kyle Frankel/Camilo Ponce, Elon
Dillon Gooch/Bekhzod Rasamatov, UNCW
Akram El Sallaly/Chung-Han Tsai, Elon
CAA Player of the Year: Bruno Caula, UNCW
CAA Co-Rookies of the Year: Holden Koons, JMU and Bekhzod Rasamatov, UNCW
CAA Coach of the Year: Mait DuBois, UNCW