ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team wrapped up the 2015 Elon Phoenix Classic tonight, Sept. 5, against Wake Forest in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix (1-6) answered in the second set to even the match but eventually fell in the finale, 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 17-25, 17-25), to the Demon Deacons (4-2) as WFU finished undefeated in the tournament.
“Our defense was very determined to keep the ball off the floor tonight and we made some incredible plays,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We improved our level of play this weekend and look forward to our next match on Tuesday night.”
Elon’s Megan Gravley posted a match-high 17 kills after 43 attempts and only four errors to hit .302, falling just shy of the double-double with nine digs, and was named to the all-tournament team. Maddie Jaudon led all players with 25 digs to average 6.25 digs per set. The defense out-blocked the Deacs, 8-5, with the help of four blocks from both Catherine Head and Ebony Scott.
WFU’s Katie Moore, who was named the tournament MVP, and Brianna Lynch each finished with 10 kills for the Demon Deacons in the match.
How it happened: With the first set tied at 11-all, Wake used a 9-2 run to move ahead by seven, 20-13. The Phoenix used a kill by Ally Karle to pull within four, 22-18, but the Deacs would keep it going for a 25-18 win.
After trailing 3-0, Elon used kills by Gravley, Sydney Busa and Head to take a 7-5 lead. The maroon and gold extended its advantage to five, 19-14, before two kills by Gravley and two blocks by Head and Scott helped the Phoenix to five straight for a 10-point edge, 24-14. Another Gravley kill gave Elon the set, 25-16, to even the match.
Elon led the third set, 6-4, after a Scott kill before the Deacs were able to take a 21-10 lead. The Phoenix answered with a 7-3 run but it was not enough as WFU claimed the win, 25-17, and took a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The fourth set remained tight until WFU scored four straight to take an 11-7 edge. Elon would pull within two three times with the help of kills from Busa and Gravley before the Deacs were able to move ahead by eight, 22-14, forcing the Phoenix to call its second timeout. The maroon and gold could not overcome the deficit as Wake claimed another 25-17 victory to win the match.
Notes: Through the first two sets, Gravley had notched 10 kills and no errors…Wake now owns a 15-10 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to the first match in Elon program history…The match marked the fourth straight where Elon has out-blocked it opponent…Head continues her strong presence at the net with 32 total blocks on the season to average 1.19 blocks per set.
Up next: Elon remains at home to host former Southern Conference opponent Davidson on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. in Alumni Gym.