WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A third straight double-double from Kayla Agae was not enough to help the Elon volleyball team defeat Western Carolina today, Sept. 19, as the Phoenix fell to the Catamounts, 3-0 (24-26, 13-25, 21-25), in the first match of the Deacon Classic in Reynolds Gym.
“We had some great individual performances tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We just didn’t have the ball control to run the offense necessary to be successful.”
Agae led all players with 13 kills and had 10 digs, while Chelsea Rafetto posted her second straight double-double with 24 assists and a career-high 20 digs. Sydney Busa tallied a career-high six blocks to lead all players.
The Catamounts took an early 3-0 advantage before kills by Busa and Agae evened the first set at three-all. WCU regained the lead and took as much as a six-point edge, 14-8. The Phoenix rallied with a 12-2 run with kills by Busa, Rafetto and Agae, an ace by Agae and three blocks by Busa and Catherine Head to take the lead, 20-16, and force WCU to call its second and final timeout. From there, WCU managed the next six to go up, 22-20, before kills by Busa and Chanelle Smith and two aces by Busa gave Elon set point, 24-22. However, the Catamounts took the final four points to win, 26-24.
In the second set, WCU managed a 9-1 run to start the set. A kill by C. Smith and four kills by Agae pulled the maroon and gold within five, 14-9. After the Catamounts pulled back ahead by seven, 17-10, and forced Tendler to call her final timeout, WCU was able to keep the momentum for a 25-13 victory.
Elon started the third set off strong with kills by Busa and Agae and blocks from Busa, Kris Harris, Michelle Klein and C. Smith to take a 7-2 lead. Two kills each by Agae and C. Smith kept the Phoenix in front, 13-8. The Catamounts closed the gap to two, 15-13, but the maroon and gold was able to keep no less than a two-point edge until WCU finished a 7-0 rally to take the lead, 24-20. An Agae kill held off the Catamounts briefly but Elon was not able to complete a comeback as WCU took a 25-21 final-set win.
Elon continues in the Deacon Classic tomorrow, Sept. 20, with a match against Winthrop at 11 a.m. and host Wake Forest at 7 p.m.