CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team picked up its first Southern Conference win of the season in a sweep of Western Carolina, 3-0 (25-22, 27-25, 25-15), tonight, Sept. 28, in the Ramsey Center. The Phoenix improves to 8-10 on the season and 1-2 in the SoCon, while the Catamounts fall to 5-13 (1-2 SoCon).
“It’s great to get a win on the road in the SoCon against a very good team,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “What is even better is that we worked on our offense all week in practice and it paid off tonight. Our passing was better and we were able to get more kills.”
Freshman Megan Gravley recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 13 digs. Senior Celia Rose Eddy and sophomore Chanelle Smith each finished with nine kills. Senior Ali Deatsch led the Phoenix on defense after talling 23 digs.
The first set opened with a 9-6 Catamount lead before two kills by Eddy, one by C. Smith and an ace by Maggie Reichard helped the Phoenix to a 7-2 run to take a two-point advantage, 13-11. After WCU tied the set at 13-all, the maroon and gold scored four unanswered off kills by Gravley and a block by Ana Nicksic and Kris Harris to regain the lead, 17-13, and force Western’s second timeout of the set. The Catamounts were able to even the score again at 20-all, but Elon scored five of the last seven points to win the first set, 25-22.
Down by two in the second set, 9-7, four straight kills by Gravley and a Catamount error put the Phoenix up by three, 12-9. With the maroon and gold holding a slight one-point advantage, 13-12, Elon went on a 4-0 run to take an advantage of five, 17-12. WCU put together a run of five to tie the set at 17-all before the Phoenix made another run with three straight off two kills by C. Smith and a block by Catherine Head to lead 20-17. With the set tied at 25-all, the maroon and gold captured the final two points to take a 27-25 victory and grab a 2-0 match lead.
With the third set tied at three-all, the Phoenix put together a 6-1 run off kills and blocks by Head and Gravley and an ace by Head for a 9-4 lead. Elon moved to a 10-point advantage, 18-8, after a kill by C. Smith capped a 4-1 run. The Phoenix held a 12-point lead, 22-10, before four unanswered by the Catamounts forced an Elon timeout. Out of the timeout, Elon scored three of the final four points off two kills by Gravley and one by Danielle Smith to earn the set win, 25-15, and the match sweep.
The Phoenix continues its road swing with a match at Appalachian State tomorrow, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m.