1. Luis Vargas earns All-American honors
Luis Vargas, a senior cross country long distance runner, became the program’s first All-American at the NCAA Cross Country Championship men’s 10K race. Vargas got off to a quick start during the 10K event and sat in 11th place through the first 3,000 meters. Although he fell to 38th by the 8,000-meter split, he hustled to crack the top-30 and finished 25th with a time of 30:45.
His performance capped a season of dominance. Vargas won all of his six meets prior to the NCAA Championships. He was selected as the Southeast Regional Athlete of the Year and Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. At the league meet, Vargas set a school-record time of 24:11:37 in the men’s 8K race.
2. Women's Track and Field wins CAA Outdoor Championships
The women’s track and field team faced unfamiliar opponents as it entered the CAA
Outdoor Championships. But dominant performances from a talented group of athletes led the Phoenix to six event wins and a first place team finish.
Sophomore distance runner Kimberly Johansen was a major contributor, and won the 800-meter and 1500-meter runs. The Phoenix also took first in the discus throw, heptathlon, 400-meter hurdles and 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Elon finished with 150 points, beating out host College of William & Mary, which finished with 134.5 points.
3. Women's Basketball advances to WNIT
The women’s basketball team played inconsistently during the season, but after a difficult 63-60 loss to the No. 1 seed in the CAA, the Phoenix proved it could compete against the best. It advanced to the WNIT for the first time in program history.
Elon lost 69-47 to Georgia Institute of Technology in the opening round of the WNIT.
4. Three players earn CAA Rookie of the Year honors
Freshman basketball guard Elijah Bryant, freshman women’s lacrosse midfielder Stephanie Asher and freshman women’s golfer Heather Munro received CAA Rookie of the Year honors.
Asher had a breakout season. She scored 44 goals and made 10 assists during her freshman campaign. In her first college game, she scored five goals against Kennesaw State University. Later, she set a career-high of six goals at Stetson University.
Bryant was a major contributor for the Phoenix, averaging 14.2 points per game. On Jan. 3, Bryant scored a career-high 32 points. He and Asher are the first players in their respective program’s history to be named Rookie of the Year.
Munro tied for second in the CAA Championships after holding the lead following two rounds of play, leading her to receive CAA Rookie of the Year accolades.
5. Softball gets walk-off to sweep UNCW and earns bid in CAA Tournament
Sophomore Carey Million delivered in pivotal situations to help propel the softball team to a CAA Tournament bid and series sweep against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Million hit a game-winning home run May 1 to give the Phoenix a trip to the conference tournament. Fans gathered to Hunt Softball Park May 2 on Senior Day and received a special treat with a dramatic come-from-behind win.
Senior Aly Quintana hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings. With the Phoenix carrying all the momentum going into the next inning, Million got a walk-off homer to secure a No. 3 seed for Elon.
6. Men's Basketball upsets UNCW on Senior Night
On paper, men’s basketball did not have a good chance of beating UNCW on Senior Night. UNCW defeated Elon 82-65 earlier in the season and was at the top of the CAA standings, but the Phoenix pulled off a 74-55 upset.
Leading 37-22 at halftime, the Phoenix never looked back. Junior guard Tanner Samson led the offensive charge with 19 points and helped lead his team to its 19-point win, the team’s largest of the season against a Division I opponent.
7. Stefan Fortmann earns CAA Player of the Year honors for men's tennis
No. 1 singles men’s tennis player Stefan Fortmann had an impressive season against tough opponents. After winning eight of his final 10 matches, Fortmann earned the CAA player of the Year title.
The senior lost four of his first five singles matches but persevered through challenging opponents. He also competed in doubles with senior Brian Kowalski. Fortmann finished the season 13-7 in singles and 14-5 in doubles. Half of the 12 total came against ranked opponents.
8. Baseball takes two of three games from No. 22 UNCW
Elon baseball faced a formidable No. 22 UNCW April 24-26 and took two of three games in its pivotal CAA series. Though the Phoenix pitching staff was not fully healthy at the time and relied on unfamiliar faces to pitch, the team showed it could excel against tough opponents.
The offense highlighted the weekend as Elon outscored UNCW 29-20. Sophomore Nick Zammarelli went 5-for-7 in the April 26 doubleheader, earning him CAA Player of the Week honors. Other batters dominated throughout the three-game series.
Austin Leeney, a junior catcher who entered the weekend with no hits in previous 10 at bats, went 5-for-9 (.556) against the UNCW Seahawks in his three starts while senior infielder Casey Jones went 7-for-12 (.583).
9. Nathan Dean sets school shutout record for men's soccer
While the soccer team’s season ended early, one player made a lasting impact on the program, senior goalkeeper Nathan Dean, who was stellar in front of the net.
On Oct. 11, 2014, he earned his 23rd career shutout for Elon, breaking the previous record held by Clint Irwin, who is currently the starting keeper for Major League
Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. Dean played and started all 19 games this season for the Phoenix and recorded nine shutouts.
In his four seasons at Elon, he posted a 45-21-10 record, earned 25 shutouts and averaged less than one and a half goals allowed per game.
10. Women's Tennis "Fab Five" has stellar season
After capturing a Southern Conference title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament last season and losing its top three seniors, the women’s tennis team came into the 2014-2015 season with high expectations from an inexperienced group of players.
But five freshmen — Erica Braschi, Bailey Edwards, Bridget Liddell, Olivia Lucas and Kirsten Ward — formed the “Fab Five” and dominated. Freshman Kamilla Beisenova was added to the roster in January.
Braschi was just one of the stellar group of freshmen. Alternating between No. 3 and No. 4 when playing singles, she finished the season 13-4. When playing doubles, mostly with junior Taylor Casey, she went 16-2. Ward and Lucas alternated in the top two singles spots. Lucas ended her singles season having won seven of her last eight matches while Ward won six of her last seven.