Phoenix Volleyball Completes Day One at Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic

Posted by Press Release on September 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Elon University volleyball team (2-4) dropped two hard fought matches today, Sept. 6, in the first day of the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic. The Phoenix fell to Central Florida (4-1), 3-0 (11-25, 13-25, 20-25), before losing a tough five-set match against Stephen F. Austin (5-1), 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 24-26, 25-18, 10-15).

“We had moments of really great play today,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We are getting better and learning from every match. We are definitely not happy with the result of the two matches today but extremely excited with the progress we are making as a team.”

Central Florida 3, Elon 0

The Knights jumped out to a 5-1 lead before back-to-back kills by Kris Harris closed the gap to two, 5-3, in the first set. With UCF leading 11-6, Elon was forced to call an early timeout. After the short break, forced Knight errors and a kill by Ally Karle helped the Phoenix pull within three, 12-9. Off the serve of Roxy Mendez, UCF managed a long run to take a strong edge by 10 points. The maroon and gold were not able to overcome the disadvantage and fell 25-11.

Forced errors and a kill by Megan Gravley kept the second set close early on with the score knotted at three-all. A kill by Chanelle Smith kept the lead to five for the Knights, 9-4, but UCF was able to build and take a 2-0 match lead after a 25-13 win.

With UCF leading, 8-5, in the third set, Elon used a kill and ace by Harris and a kill by Kayla Agae to score three straight and pull even to make it eight-all. The Knights extended its lead to four, 12-8, but the maroon and gold put together a 4-1 run with the help of two kills by Karle and one by each Gravley and Agae to close the gap to one, 13-12. Kills by Agae and Harris and an ace by Morgan Maner kept the Phoenix within one of the home team, 16-15, but the Knights were able to hold on and close out the match with a 25-20 victory.

Despite the loss, Karle looked strong for the Phoenix, hitting .875 after recording seven kills off eight attempts and no errors. Harris also played well with a team-high eight kills off 18 attempts and no errors to hit .444.

Elon 2, Stephen F. Austin 3

Elon found itself in a 9-5 hole early in the first set, but three kills by C. Smith and a block and a kill by Harris helped the Phoenix to a 8-3 run and the lead, 13-12. With the score tied at 15-all, an ace by Maner and a kill by Danielle Smith gave Elon a three-point advantage, 18-15, and forced a Ladyjack timeout. The maroon and gold extended its lead and claimed a 25-20 win.

In the second set, SFA jumped out to a 6-1 lead before a kill by Harris sparked a 7-2 run for the Phoenix to pull even with the Ladyjacks, eight-all. Off the serve of C. Smith, Elon was able to score five straight with the help of kills by Cali Estes, Gravley and Harris to claim a 15-14 edge. The remainder of the set was a back-and-forth with the Ladyjacks claiming set point first and holding on for a 26-24 victory.

Down by four, 14-10, three kills by C. Smith, one by Harris and a block by Gravley and Harris helped Elon to a 6-2 run to tie the third set at 16-all. The Phoenix fell behind, 21-17, but kills by Agae and Harris forced an SFA timeout and pulled Elon even at 22-all. Once again, the Ladyjacks were able to claim set point and take another 26-24 win.

In the fourth set, kills by D. Smith, C. Smith, Harris and an ace by D. Smith gave Elon an 8-4 early lead, forcing an SFA timeout. Out of the break, the maroon and gold went on a 6-2 run with the help of two kills each by C. Smith and Karle and an ace by Ana Nicksic to go up by seven, 14-7. The Phoenix held on to its strong advantage to win by eight, 25-18, and force a fifth and final set.

SFA took a 9-5 advantage in the fifth set before a kill by D. Smith cut the deficit to one, 11-10. However the Ladyjacks were able to prevail and win the set, 15-10, and the match, 3-2.

C. Smith finished with a match-high 17 kills and recorded her second double-double of the season with 15 digs. Harris also finished with double-digit kills, tallying 11 to go along with her match-high seven blocks. Estes, D. Smith and Karle all finished the night with three blocks.

Elon will return to action tomorrow Saturday, Sept. 7, to face George Washington in its final match of the tournament at 3:30 p.m.

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