ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team picked up its fourth straight win tonight, Oct. 27, with a victory over Western Carolina, 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21) on Senior Night. The Phoenix is now 14-13 (7-5 SoCon) on the season, while the Catamounts fall to 8-19 (4-8 SoCon).
“We had a lot of trouble finding our rhythm tonight but we found a way to get the victory,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Our team is steadily improving and I know we will work hard to get better and prepare for our final four matches on the road. I’m happy that these five seniors were able to end their careers with a victory in Alumni Gym. They have done so much for this program and this university. I am extremely proud of all five of them!”
Sophomore Chanelle Smith led the Phoenix on offense with 12 kills and recorded her second straight double-double (sixth on the year) with 20 digs. Freshman Megan Gravley and sophomore Kris Harris finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
With the help of C. Smith’s 20 digs, the defense also saw 18 digs from senior Ali Deatsch and 12 from sophomore Maggie Reichard. Harris recorded six blocks, while senior Celia Rose Eddy finished with three.
Down by three in the first set, 9-6, the Phoenix used a 6-2 run off an ace by C. Smith and kills and a block by Eddy and Allison Johnson to take a 12-11 lead. The set remained tight and was knotted at 21-all when the Catamounts scored three of the next four to take set point, 24-22. Miscues by WCU and kills by C. Smith and Danielle Smith led the Phoenix to four unanswered to win the set, 26-24.
Western held a seven-point advantage at the beginning of the second set with a 16-9 lead. From there, the maroon and gold went on a 9-3 run with the help of several Catamount mistakes and kills by Johnson and D. Smith to cut the deficit to one, 19-18. With the set tied at 21-all, three straight kills by Harris gave the Phoenix its first lead of the set, 23-21, forcing WCU to call its second timeout. Elon used another kill by Harris, her fourth of the set, to win 25-23 and take a 2-0 match lead.
The third set was close with seven ties by the time the score reached 14-all. WCU then scored three straight to take a 17-14 lead. Elon tied the set again at 21-all, however, the Catamounts managed to send the match into another set, winning 25-23.
With the fourth set tied at five-all, the Phoenix scored seven straight with the help of an ace by Harris, two kills by Gravley and a block by Eddy and Nicksic to grab a 12-5 lead. The maroon and gold maintained its strong advantage until the Catamounts pulled within two, 20-18. Kills by Eddy and D. Smith put the Phoenix back up by four, 22-18. From there, Elon took the final set, 25-21, and the 3-1 match win.
The Phoenix will play its four remaining matches of the regular season on the road, beginning with a match at Samford on Friday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. (EST).