The Elon University men’s tennis team started its spring season on a sour note on Saturday, Jan. 17 in a 5-2 loss against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

The 55th –ranked Phoenix received its only points of the day through the singles play of seniors Stefan Fortmann and Juan Madrid.

Fortmann, playing in the number one singles, defeated Gamecock senior Thiago Pinheiro 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (1) in a closely contested match that ended in a third-set tiebreaker. Playing in the number six singles for the Phoenix, Madrid defeated sophomore Sam Swank in a straight set 6-1, 7-5 victory to earn the last win of the day for Elon.

South Carolina handled the rest of the singles matches starting with the number two, sophomore Robert Lindgren, losing 6-0, 7-5 to senior Kyle Koch. The Gamecocks took the third and fourth singles matches with relative ease as freshman Josh Luck couldn’t stick with senior Andrew Adams losing a 6-1, 6-4 decision. Following Luck was senior Brian Kowalski for the Phoenix who lost a 6-2, 7-5 match to the 83rd ranked player in the country, sophomore Andrew Schafer.

The final singles loss for Elon came at the hands of freshman Harrison O’Keefe who defeated senior Jordan Kaufman 6-1, 7-6.

In the doubles matches, Elon’s top tandem of Fortmann and Kowalski was not enough to defeat Pinheiro and Koch of South Carolina in a quick 6-1 defeat. Shortly after, Madrid and Lindgren lost a 6-3 contest to the 46th-ranked freshman duo of Thomas Mayronne and Harrison O’Keefe before the final doubles match featuring senior Jordan Kauffman and sophomore Chris Humphreys went unfinished against seniors Andrew Adams and Sam Swank.

The Phoenix will return to the court on Monday, Jan. 19 in Knoxville, Tenn. for a match against the 17th ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers. The match is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the Goodfriend Tennis Center.

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