CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –– The Elon University men’s tennis team wrapped up play in the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 25, by defeating the Samford University Bulldogs, 4-2, in the consolation match.

The Phoenix took a 1-0 lead after taking two out of the three doubles matches.  Sophomore Robert Lindgren and junior Brain Kowalski cruised to a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles over Samford freshmen Henry Moore and Liam Sullivan. Elon juniors Juan Madrid and Jordan Kaufman also won easily at No. 3 singles, brushing past sophomore Fares Kilani and junior Austin Akers 6-2.

The teams split the first four singles matches, with Elon winning at No. 5 and No. 6 singles while dropping matches at No. 2 and No. 4 singles.  At No. 5, Kaufman failed to drop a single game in his match as he eased past More 6-0, 6-0.  Kaufman’s doubles partner on the day, Madrid, also won his singles match in straight sets 6-0, 6-5 at No. 6 singles.

Elon senior Cameron Silverman fell behind early at No. 1 singles, dropping the first set.  But, the No. 25 player in the nation rallied to take the next two sets to clinch the match for the Phoenix, defeating senior Elliot Barnwell 4-6, 6-1, 6-5.

The match between these two rivals did not count towards their Southern Conference records, with their official conference meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 8 at Elon’s Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.

On Friday night, Jan. 24, the Phoenix opened up the tournament against the top-ranked University of Virginia Cavaliers.  The Phoenix struggled against the nation’s top team and was shut out 10-0.

The Phoenix lost all three doubles matches to go behind 1-0 early in the match.  Silverman and senior Stefan Fortmann nearly came out on top over at No. 1 doubles, but Virginia seniors Alex Doijan and Justin Shane proved to be too much, winning in a tiebreaker 6-5(2). Virginia freshmen Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Mac Stylinger defeated Elon juniors Juan Madrid and Jordan Kaufman at No. 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point for the Cavaliers.

Elon’s struggles continued into the singles portion of the match.  None of the nine players for the Phoenix managed to win a set, as top-ranked Virginia proved to be too strong.  Elon junior walk-on Dan Sablik lost in his first action of the season at No. 8 singles to freshman Luca Corinteli to clinch the overall match victory for the Cavaliers.

Silverman was matched up with No. 3 Mitchell Frank, but ultimately fell at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-5(4).  Kowalski was the only other player to force a tiebreaker for the Phoenix, but also suffered defeat at No. 4 singles losing to Shane 6-4, 6-5(7).

The Phoenix will take some time off before returning to the court on Saturday, Feb. 8, for a home-opening double header against Norfolk State University and University of North Carolina at Asheville.

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