The Elon University men’s tennis team defeated the Norfolk State University Spartans and Methodist University Monarchs by a combined score of 14-0, improving its record to 10-6 on the season.
Elon opened the day with a 7-0 victory over Norfolk State. The Phoenix won both doubles matches 6-0 to take the doubles point and lost just 10 total games in the four singles matches played. Norfolk State only had four available players for singles, so Elon began the singles session ahead 3-0.
“Overall, really proud of the team,” assistant coach J.D. Shade said. “The guys were really professional and took care of business.”
The Phoenix returned in the afternoon to defeat Methodist 7-0, though this time Elon won all six singles matches, losing just 15 total games in the session.
Freshman Joseph Dougherty earned his first college singles win in the number six position against Methodist. He won 6-0 in just his second ever college singles match.
“I gave a lot of energy out there, working every point like it was a match point,” Dougherty said.
Graduate student Kyle Frankel and sophomore Daniel Martin went 2-0 in singles and six other players won singles matches. Nine of Elon’s ten players played in either a doubles or singles match across the two matches, including Dougherty and sophomore Luke Quieroz. The two had played a combined four doubles and singles matches prior to today.
“It was great to get some guys in the lineup like Luke and Joe, they stepped up big for us,” Shade said. “We've had a lot of good practices these last two weeks, so I can't say enough great things about the bond and the unity. We’re trending toward the right direction.”
After an 0-4 start, Elon has now won 11 of its last 13 matches, which included an eight-match winning streak that spanned from Feb. 17 to March 25.
“We had a little bit of a rough start but we’re getting back on track,” Dougherty said. “We’re just on fire recently and we’re so excited for conference. We’re hyped up and every day we’re talking about getting a little closer.”
Dougherty said the leadership from the team’s upperclassmen — Frankel, seniors Chung-Han Tsai and Camilo Ponce, and juniors Nicholas Campbell and Nicholas Condos — have been critical to the team’s turnaround this season.
“Our upperclassmen really contribute to our success just everyday in practice by working hard and just really treating everything like we're preparing for conference,” Dougherty said. “It's just gotten us so prepared.”
Elon plays its first match against a Colonial Athletic Association opponent on April 5 when the team travels to play at James Madison University. Shade said the team is working to peak for the upcoming CAA Tournament, which Elon will host beginning on April 22.
“Overall, guys are pushing themselves each day, working harder and harder,” Shade said. “It's great to be a part of that.”