After winning the Southern Conference tournament, the Elon University men’s tennis team finally knows who it will be facing in the NCAA tournament: the University of Tennessee.

Elon and Tennessee will square off in the first round at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 10 in Durham at Duke University.

The Phoenix was forced to wait ten days before finally knowing their fate.

“(We’ve) felt like (we’ve) been waiting forever to find out,” Elon head coach Michael Leonard said.

Elon finished their regular season with a 19-4 record, including winning 15 of its last 16 matches. Tennessee is 17-10, but, the Volunteers lost in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The two teams only faced one common opponent this year. The Phoenix and Vols both took on East Tennessee State University early in their respective seasons. Tennessee defeated ETSU 5-2 Jan. 20, while the Phoenix was shut out 7-0 by the Buccaneers Feb. 23.

Elon will be the No. 3 seed in the Durham region, while Tennessee will be the No. 2 seed. The winner will most likely take on host Duke. The Blue Devils, the No. 11 overall seed in the tournament, take on Winthrop University in the first round.

Should Elon and Duke both advance, the Phoenix will have rematch of its season opener.  The Phoenix completed a major upset of the Blue Devils, taking down the then-seventh ranked team in the nation, 4-3.

“Obviously, Tennessee is going to be a tough match,” junior Stefan Fortmann said. “(But) if we can get in there with Duke, it’s definitely going to play in the back of their minds that we’ve been there before at their place and beat them the last time.”


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