Elon Volleyball Sweeps Navy in Final Match of Kristen Dickmann Invitational

Posted by Press Release on August 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Phoenix volleyball squad finished action in the Kristen Dickmann Invitational today, Aug. 31, splitting a pair of matches against UNC Wilmington and Navy. The Phoenix (1-2) fell to UNCW (3-0), 3-0 (17-25, 16-25, 19-25), early in the day before rebounding to sweep host Navy (1-2), 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-22), in the final match of the tournament.

“This was a good first tournament for us,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “The competition was strong and we learned a lot about this team. We look forward to getting back in the gym and making our team stronger.”

UNCW 3, Elon 0

The Phoenix started the first set off strong taking as much as a three-point edge, 6-3, after two kills by Cali Estes and a block by Catherine Head. The Seahawks rallied back to go up by four, 14-10, and force Elon to call the first timeout of the match. The maroon and gold took the first point out of the timeout off a kill by Estes but UNCW eventually took the set, 25-17.

The Seahawks began the second set with a 6-2 advantage, causing an early Elon timeout. From there, the Phoenix put together an 5-3 run with the help of kills by Estes, Kris Harris and Chanelle Smith and a block by Megan Gravley and Harris to pull within one, 9-8. UNCW grabbed a seven-point edge, 15-8, before two kills by Estes, another from Kayla Agae and an ace by C. Smith cut the deficit to four, 16-12. However, UNCW made some strong plays down the stretch to take a 25-16 win and a 2-0 match lead.

In the third set, UNCW held a 13-7 advantage before two kills by Estes and one by Danielle Smith forced a Seahawk timeout as the Phoenix made it 15-11. Elon continued to trim the UNCW lead after kills by Estes and C. Smith and an ace by Morgan Maner capped three straight for the maroon and gold and pulled the Phoenix within two, 19-17. The Seahawks balanced attack was too strong in the end and helped them claim a 25-19 win for the set and the match.

Estes posted a new career-high and a match-high 11 kills. Harris and C. Smith both finished with eight, while Ana Nicksic tallied 21 assists. On defense, Maggie Reichard recorded a team-high 12 digs.

Elon 3, Navy 0

Kills by Harris and C. Smith and an ace by Reichard put the Phoenix up, 4-1, early in the first set and caused Navy to call an early timeout. Elon went up by as many as five before the Midshipmen tied the set at nine-all. With the maroon and gold up by one, 16-15, kills by Head, Agae and an ace by C. Smith helped Elon to four straight and five-point lead, 20-15. The Phoenix reached set point when Nicksic dumped a pass over the net for a kill to make it 24-23. Navy held Elon off for several points but the Phoenix would prevail 27-25 for the first-set win.

With the second set tied at seven-all, the Phoenix put together a 6-1 run with kills by C. Smith, Harris, Agae and an ace by Maner to take a 13-8 lead. Navy managed to keep it close and took a 20-18 advantage before a kill by D. Smith sparked a big run for the Phoenix. The 7-1 run was capped by a block by Agae and Harris and then a kill by Harris to give Elon a 25-21 victory.

Elon started the third set off with a 6-1 lead after two kills by Harris, one by Agae and an ace by Reichard before the Midshipmen tied the score at 10-all. With Navy holding a two-point edge, 16-14, a kill by Estes started a 7-2 run for the maroon and gold to give the Phoenix a four-point advantage, 22-18. Navy pulled back within one, 22-21, but Elon was able to keep its strong play going to finish off the match with a 25-22 final-set score.

Harris had an outstanding match for the Phoenix, hitting .579 after 13 kills off 19 attempts and only two errors. The junior was named to the all-tournament team following the match. C. Smith finished with 10 kills, while Estes and Nicksic combined for 33 assists. Defensively, the Phoenix recorded seven blocks with four coming from Head.

Elon will play its first home match of the season on Tuesday, Sept. 3, when it hosts Campbell for a 7 p.m. match in Alumni Gym.

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