The Elon University men’s tennis team was riding high after defeating defending Southern Conference champion Samford University 7-0 Saturday, March 8 to increase its winning streak to three.
“I’m very happy how the team competed,” Elon head coach Michael Leonard said. “I thought as the day went on, we played better and better. It was great to see us play our best tennis as the match went on.”
Juniors Stefan Fortmann and Juan Madrid were the first to complete their doubles match winning at No. 3, 8-5 over junior Austin Akers and sophomore Fares Kilaani. Senior Cameron Silverman and junior Jordan Kaufman clinched the doubles point for the Phoenix with an 8-4 win over at No. 1 Doubles over sophomore Trey Carter and redshirt freshman Henry Moore.
The Phoenix continued to roll into singles action. Kaufman put Elon up 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 straight sets win over Moore at No. 5 singles.
“I started a little shaky, but I think I’m doing a good job of getting in the zone and keeping that focus instead of focusing on other stuff besides points and games,” Kaufman said.
Minutes later, Fortmann brought the Phoenix to within a point of victory defeating Carter at No. 4 singles 6-2, 6-2. Madrid sealed Elon’s victory with a decisive 6-3, 6-1 win over Liam Silverman at No. 6 singles.
“I thought we looked really good and competed as a team,” Kaufman said.
Elon continued to assert itself as junior Brian Kowalski made it 5-0 with come-from-behind win over Akers at No. 3 singles. Kowalski dropped the first set 6-2, but rallied to take the next set 6-1 before completing his comeback, winning in a super tiebreaker 10-2.
Silverman also won in comeback fashion, defeating senior Elliot Barnwell at No. 1 singles 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Junior Robert Lindgren completed the shutout with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win at No. 2 singles over Kilani.
“We knew it was going to be a war,” Leonard said. “We didn’t play extremely well at the beginning of the match, but it was good to see how we handled that adversity.”
The Phoenix will return to action the tomorrow, Sunday, March 9 to take on in-state rival Davidson College. The match is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.