With threatening skies overhead, the Elon University women’s tennis team dominated the Georgia Southern University Eagles from start to finish, winning the first four singles matches en route to a 4-0 shutout.
Briana Berne, the team’s lone senior, who did nothing more than cheer her teammates on, echoes her coach’s sentiment.
“I’ll tell you how nice it was, it was pretty damn nice,” Berne said laughing. “We want this (championship) so badly. It’s good to get a good win quickly. It gives you confidence, no matter who you’re playing.”
Junior Bryn Khoury won the Phoenix’s first point with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Eagles Mary Phillips Smith in No. 4 singles. The win improves Khoury to 21-4, joining Jansaker as the only players with more than 20 wins for the Phoenix.
Jansaker, whose 6-1, 6-1 victory in No. 2 singles gave the Phoenix a 2-0 lead, was satisfied with her team’s performance
“(The win) was really nice, because Georgia Southern is a very good team,” Jansaker said. “Your always nervous the first match of the tournament, so it was nice to come out here and play good. We had three pretty quick matches and then (junior) Maria (Camara-Ruiz) clinched it for us.”
Junior Barbora Lazarova extended the Phoenix lead to 3-0 with a commanding 6-1, 6-2 win over the Eagles Stephanie Woods, putting her team on the cusp of the semifinals.
The quick win was important in the eyes of Berne, who knows how important a player’s stamina is at this point in the season, especially in the Southern Conference tournament, where teams play their next tournament game the next day.
“Whatever would have happened we would’ve still been ready for the semifinals because we’re in shape and we’ve worked hard,” Berne said. “It’s just good because you took care of business before. It’s always better to be more efficient.”
Camara-Ruiz then clinched the Phoenix victory with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Caitlin Kitchen to move the Phoenix into a match with Furman University tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
“That’ll be a great match,” Berne said. “We definitely have to get off from the beginning. The doubles will be important because they’re a great team too but I think if we get off in the doubles we’ll have the momentum and we’ll be good. I think we’re in their heads.”
Jansaker says the team knows what’s in front of them, and wants nothing more than to be holding the trophy on Sunday.
“(Winning the championship) is huge, I can’t tell you how big it is,” Jansaker said. “I want the ring for our senior, Bri. It’s her last year, and I want the ring for everyone. We all deserve it. I want to go to the NCAAs.”
The Phoenix beat the Paladins in the two team’s only meeting of the season on April 7 in which Elon won 5-2.
Men's tennis breezes past Furman into semis
The Elon University men’s tennis team secured the first spot in the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tennis Championship with a decisive 4-0 win over Furman April 19. The top-seeded Phoenix took down Furman, who had defeated Appalachian State University yesterday.
Freshman Robert Lindgren won his first ever Southern Conference Tournament match by defeating junior Alex Christ at No. 3 singles. Lindgren won the highly contested first set 6-4. The freshman did not lose a game in the second set winning 6-0 to complete the straight sets victory.
Sophomore Brian Kowalski defeated fellow sophomore Luke Synn at No. 5 singles to give Elon a 2-0 advantage. Kowalski, who transferred from Emory University, also won his first Southern Conference Tournament match in the process. Kowalski dropped only four games in the entire match as he cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 straight sets victory.
Junior Cameron Silverman brought the Phoenix to within a point of victory by defeating senior Andrew Mellow at No. 1 singles. Silverman defended his national No. 59 ranking and his SoCon Player of the Year title by making short work of the Paladins’ Mellow. He also won in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-2.
Sophomore Stefan Fortmann clinched the victory for the Phoenix defeating freshman Matt Browne at No. 2 singles. Fortmann’s 6-2, 6-4 victory completed Elon’s dominating sweep of the eighth-seeded Paladins in the quarterfinals contest.
Elon will take on the University of Chattanooga at Tennessee Mocs Saturday at 2 p.m. The semifinal contest will begin at 2 p.m. at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.