ELON, N.C. – The No. 2-seeded Elon University women’s tennis team begins the 2017 CAA Women’s Tennis Championships when they host the No. 7-seeded Towson Tigers on Friday, April 21. Once the morning matches are complete, Elon’s match will begin after one hour of warmups.
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY…
There is rain expected to hit in the area during the weekend. All of Friday’s matches at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center have been moved to earlier start times to avoid the threat of rain in the afternoon. The Phoenix are expected to start at approximately 11:30 a.m.
The Phoenix earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament for the second consecutive year after a finishing with a record of 17-7 overall. No. 50-ranked William & Mary earned the top spot while College of Charleston and James Madison are the No. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively. Rounding out the field is fifth-seeded Delaware, sixth-seeded UNCW, seventh-seeded Towson and eighth-seeded Drexel, who defeated ninth-seed Hofstra 4-0 on Thursday.
CAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Making its third appearance in the CAA Tournament, Elon is 2-2 with a pair of semifinal appearances. Back in 2015, the Phoenix fell out to second-seeded College of Charleston in Williamsburg, Va. Last season, Elon lost to third-seeded James Madison in the semifinals. This marks the second straight season Elon has been the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
Friday’s match will be the fourth meeting between the schools in Elon’s Division I era and the second time in the CAA quarterfinals. The Phoenix owns a 3-0 lead in the series. Elon defeated Towson earlier this season, 6-1, on Feb. 11, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Elon also faced Towson in the CAA quarterfinals in 2015 during the program’s inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association. As the No. 3 seed, the Phoenix defeated the Tigers 4-0 in Williamsburg, Va.
MOVING INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
In the program’s Division I record book, Erica Braschi currently has 44 career dual-match singles victories thus far in her career, which is currently eighth all-time. She is now seven singles wins away from moving into the top-five in program’s Division I history. She owns a 73.3 career-winning percentage, which ranks third all-time. Her 39 career doubles wins is currently seventh all-time. Olivia Lucas is ninth all-time with 31 career dual match doubles wins. Her 37 career singles wins is the 10th-most in the program’s Division I era.
Kirsten Ward and Suzanne Zenoni collected Elon’s third conference honor of the season, earning CAA Doubles Team of the Week on Tuesday. Erica Braschi earned CAA Player of the Week on April 4. Braschi and Olivia Lucas also earned CAA Doubles Team of the Week on March 14 after finishing 3-0 during a 2-1 week for the Phoenix.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Phoenix has been on a tear at home this season owning a 13-1 mark at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Elon opened the season with an eight-match winning streak at home until Winthrop handed the Phoenix its only loss at home on March 12.
FINDING THEIR GROOVE
In singles, six of Elon’s eight players have double-digit win totals this season and Sofia Edo is one win away from making it seven with a 9-5 mark. Maria Paraja owns the most singles wins on the team with 16 thus far. Braschi, Lucas and Zenoni are all tied for second with 14 singles wins each. In doubles action, Braschi and Lucas hold a 14-6 record this year in dual matches, the best mark of any Elon pairing. Kirsten Ward and Zenoni own an 11-7 record this season.
Towson finished the regular season with a 13-10 overall record and a 3-4 mark against CAA teams. The Tigers have six players with double-digit singles wins this season. Lucy Gloninger leads Towson with a 22-5 overall record and an impressive team-best 16-3 mark in dual match play. Lucy Williams closed out the regular season on a high note, winning four-straight to improve to 16-13 overall and 14-8 in dual play. Williams has split most of her time between the No. 2 (6-2) and No. 3 (7-6) flights and was elevated to the top spot for the Tigers’ final regular season match, a 6-2, 6-0 win against Coppin State. A.J. Gomer and Renate van Oorschodt lead doubles action for the Tigers at 15-10 on the season and 12-8 in dual match play at the top flight.
If Elon defeats the Towson Tigers in the quarterfinals, it will face off against the winner of the College of Charleston/UNCW match in the semifinals. The match is scheduled to be played at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
HEAD COACH ELIZABETH ANDERSON
Elizabeth Anderson is in her 13th season as head coach of the Phoenix. Anderson earned her first-ever year accolade, after she was named the 2016 CAA Coach of the Year last season. She has led Elon to six straight seasons of 14 or more wins and guided the program to its first NCAA Tournament in 2014. This season’s 17 wins are the most in a season for the program since winning 21 matches during the 2013 campaign. The win total also marks the second-most wins by a Phoenix team in a season under Anderson’s guidance since she became the head coach in 2004-05.
2017 CAA TOURNAMENT
Elon was selected to host the 2017 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, which will be held April 20-23 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center and the Burlington Tennis Center. It marks the second-consecutive season that Elon University has hosted the CAA Tournament. Prior to last season’s 2016 CAA Tournament, the last time the programs hosted a conference tournament was the 2013 SoCon Championships.