The Elon University men’s tennis team (6-5) swept the Hampton University Pirates (2-5) on Saturday afternoon at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center to notch its sixth victory of the season. The Phoenix remains undefeated at home on the season with a 5-0 record.
The Phoenix jumped out to a commanding start. Seniors Daniel Martin and Nicholas Campbell won their doubles match 6-2 with ease. Martin is the reigning CAA Player of the Week. The first-time doubles pairing of freshman Veljko Krstic and junior Luke Queiroz soon followed, winning 6-3 to clinch the doubles point for Elon.
The Phoenix also took care of business during singles, winning all six matches. Martin won 6-0, 6-2 and Krstic soon followed with a quick 6-3, 6-1 win. Junior Ben Zipay clinched the match for the Phoenix by winning his sets by matching 6-1 scores. Campbell and Condos also won their matches. With the match already clinched, freshman Ahmed Hosni was still playing out his match on Court No. 4.
Entering today on a three-match losing skid in singles, Hosni broke his streak with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the last match of the day to complete the sweep of the Pirates.
Despite his recent struggles, Hosni, who joined the team in January, said he believes the culture that has been built and instilled around the team is what has allowed him to have success early in his college tennis career.
“I always think about the team. I want to get this win for the team. I want to get this win for Coach [Leonard],” Hosni said. “I did my best, and all my teammates did their best.”
Hosni, who hails from Cairo, Egypt, is only 18 years old. He has appeared in every match this season for Elon despite not being a part of the team’s fall campaign. Hosni said it has not been an easy transition to college but believes his teammates and coaching staff have been incredibly supportive since he arrived.
Hosni said that Campbell is his closest teammate and is like a big brother to him. Some playful banter about whether this was true was discussed between the two after the match, as Hosni glanced to the other side of the court to see if Campbell was listening during the post-game interview when he said Campbell was his closest teammate on the team. Campbell laughed and exclaimed, “Is it because I’m 10 feet away?”
“All my teammates have been so nice to me since the beginning and to now,” Hosni said. “They offer all this support. Even the whole college, all of my colleagues in the classes everywhere.”
Despite a dominant sweep of the Pirates, Campbell and Hosni stayed for at least 30 minutes after the match's conclusion to practice for tomorrow’s contest.
For the first time this season, freshman Oskar Antinheimo did not play in either doubles or singles. However, head coach Michael Leonard believes Antinheimo not playing today gave him a chance to try out different players and adjustments. Leonard said he expects Antinheimo to play in tomorrow's match against Wofford.
“It was good to see Nico [Campbell] and Ahmed kind of put themselves together and kind of get their momentum back because they were down a little bit,” Leonard said. “The other guys kind of took control of their matches and stayed on top of their posts which was a positive sign.”
Leonard also said that he’s looking forward to having his team at full health again soon and to having a complete roster.
The Phoenix has won four of their last six matches, three of which have been sweeps.
Elon will take on the Wofford University Terriers (4-6) at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow as the Phoenix looks to win its second match in as many days.