Elon University is facing a stacked schedule this fall. Five of the Phoenix’s opponents this year are ranked in the top 25 in the FCS coaches poll. Even the team’s lone FBS opponent was tabbed as the best in their conference, as Toledo topped the Mid-American Conference media poll. No matter how you slice it, Elon is staring down the barrel of a tough schedule. The most winnable game of the season will likely come in Week 9 when the Phoenix takes on Rhode Island University on the road. The Rams tied Elon at the bottom of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) standings last year with a 2-9 record and are predicted to finish last this season. The Phoenix will play its best opponent Nov. 18, when it travels to James Madison University to take on last year’s FCS national champions. In their past three matchups against the Dukes, Elon was outscored 173-41, so there isn’t much reason to expect a Phoenix victory. But JMU is a fun-to-watch team stacked with talent.
The Phoenix has a history of playing marquee Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, and this year is no exception. A game on the road at Duke University and home matches against North Carolina State and Wake Forest University are on its schedule. The team will face its first test against a ranked team Sept. 12 on the road at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Their top game of the year will likely come on Oct.17 when Wake Forest comes to Elon. The Demon Deacons are ranked No. 2 in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches (UCS), and will be visiting Rudd Field at a pivotal point in the late season. The Phoenix should be in top form, though, having played CAA favorite William & Mary University earlier that week.
Just like the men’s team, the Elon University women's soccer team will also be welcoming an ACC opponent to Rudd Field. The NC State Wolfpack, who polled at No. 25 in the UCS preseason rankings, will be in Elon on Sept. 3. In terms of conference play, the Phoenix has an interesting home stretch in early October, as William & Mary and Northeastern University come to town for back-to-back matches on Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, respectively. The Huskies were picked to finish best in the CAA, and the Tribe received votes in the national preseason poll.
Elon University’s best volleyball matches this year will likely come in tournament play. Between Sept. 8-9, Alumni Gym will host to the Phoenix Classic. Elon, North Carolina Central University, Charleston Southern University and Norfolk State University will play a round robin in Elon across two days, providing the Phoenix with a solid warm-up slate before conference play as well as a number of winnable games. In conference play, Elon will take on Hofstra University twice, once at home on Nov. 3, and once on Oct. 6 in Hempstead, New York. The Pride was picked to finish second in the CAA and have a roster featuring two all-conference selections.
Both of Elon University’s cross country teams have a slate of entertaining invitationals this fall, and both squads will see North Carolina State University twice. The Wolfpack will be at the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary Oct. 15 and the Three Stripe Invitational on Nov. 4, right before the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. NC State’s women finished at No. 2 in last year’s national rankings, and the men ended the season at No. 17.