Baseball takes second consecutive SoCon season title
The Phoenix baseball team rode a season-ending, 17-game winning streak against Southern Conference opponents en route to its second straight regular-season conference title. Elon finished 40-16 overall, 23-4 in the SoCon. Head coach Mike Kennedy ’91 claimed his second straight conference Coach of the Year award, and junior third baseman Chase Austin earned conference co-Player of the Year honors.
Despite falling to Georgia Southern in the SoCon tournament final May 24, the Phoenix earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA baseball tournament’s Atlanta Regional. Entering its first tournament game May 29 vs. Southern Mississippi, Elon was ranked in three national polls and received votes in a fifth. The Phoenix earned a victory against No. 4 seed Georgia State in the regional, but losses to Southern Mississippi and top seed Georgia Tech knocked the team from the tournament.
Men’s soccer earns first regular-season SoCon crown
With an unblemished record in league play, head coach Darren Powell’s men’s soccer squad claimed its first regular season conference championship after six years in the SoCon. The Phoenix finished the season 9-8-1 overall, 7-0 in the SoCon, but fell to the College of Charleston in the conference tournament semifinal round. Junior forward Justin Wyatt was named SoCon Player of the Year and Powell garnered conference Coach of the Year honors.
Five Phoenix squads rank among nation’s best in academics
Elon men’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, volleyball and softball squads ranked in the country’s top 10 percent in their respective sports, according to the NCAA’s 2009 Academic Progress Rate (APR) report. The APR includes several factors, including eligibility, retention and graduation rates to gauge the academic strengths of each sports program. For the third consecutive year, the Phoenix women’s cross country, women’s golf and volleyball teams achieved perfect scores.
Football finishes 2008 season at No. 17 in FCS
Elon football reached several significant milestones during its 2008 campaign, finishing with its highest ranking in 10 years of Division I competition, earning the most victories in a season in nine years and defeating three top-25 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams in a season for the first time in the program’s history. Head coach Pete Lembo’s Phoenix ranked No. 17 in The Sporting Network’s final FCS poll and reached an Elon-high No. 3 ranking after a midseason seven-game winning streak.
Junior wide receiver Terrell Hudgins and senior place kicker Andrew Wilcox were selected for the 2008 Walter Camp Foundation All-America team, marking the first time two Elon teammates earned the honor in the same season. The duo also was named to the Associated Press’ All-America team.
Gooch achieves milestone with NCAA singles victory
Senior Damon Gooch won his first-round match in the NCAA singles tournament in College Station, Texas, on May 20, the first tournament singles victory in the history of Elon tennis. Gooch, ranked No. 86 in the country, upset No. 37 Boris Conkich of the University of Tennessee, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Gooch fell to No. 17 Conor Pollock of host Texas A&M in the round of 32, but finished the season with an impressive 19-9 record in singles play, including an 8-2 slate in the SoCon. Gooch and teammate Philip Nemec, the No. 36 pair in the nation, qualified for the NCAA doubles tournament, but lost in the first round.
On the women’s side, freshman Elisa Simonetti was named the SoCon’s Freshman of the Year. She tallied a 15-6 regular-season singles record, going 8-2 in conference play. She is the second Phoenix women’s tennis player to win the award.