Elon Volleyball Returns Home to Host UNCW, CofC

Posted by Press Release on October 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – After nearly three weeks since a home match, the Elon volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of Alumni Gym this weekend to host matches against UNCW and College of Charleston. The Phoenix (15-7, 2-4) takes on the Seahawks (13-6, 3-4) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, before closing out the weekend against the Cougars (12-7, 5-2) on Sunday, Oct. 16, in a 2 p.m. match.

A Look at the Phoenix
Elon is looking to snap a three-match losing skid that includes two five-set losses. On the road last weekend, the Phoenix fell 3-2 at league leader Northeastern before a 3-0 loss at Hofstra, who sits third in the conference. Sydney Busa led the maroon and gold in its three total matches last week after tallying 49 total kills to average 3.77 kills per set and hit .271. She posted double-digit kill numbers in all three matches – 21, 18 and 10 kills – and recorded two double-doubles. Sydel Curry finished with 9.38 assists per set after a double-double at Northeastern (55 assists, 15 digs) to go along with 10 kills on the week. On defense, Michelle Klein posted 12 total blocks, including two solo, to average 0.92 blocks per set.

Scouting the Seahawks
UNCW is 13-6 on the season after snapping a three-match losing streak with a five-set win at Charleston on Thursday. The Seahawks led the conference in blocks and rank 20th nationally in blocks per set with 2.79. The team is also 18th in the NCAA and second in the CAA with 16.83 digs per set. Nicole Lott leads the team with 3.23 kills per set followed by Maddy Kline who averages 3.14 digs per set. Sydney Alvis has tallied 314 total digs to post 4.42 digs/set, while all of UNCW’s top three blockers average over 1.0 blocks/set. Kendall Bender leads the Seahawks with 40 total blocks and 1.48 blocks per set.

Elon vs. UNCW
The series between Elon and UNCW dates back to 1976 with Saturday marking the 32nd meeting. The Seahawks hold the slight edge in the series, 18-13, with victories in the last six matches. Elon’s last win came in a tournament in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 28, 2009.

Scouting the Cougars
CofC tallied only its second conference defeat of the season on Thursday in a five-set loss to UNCW. Sophomore setter Allison Beckman is the leader of the Cougar offense and is first in the CAA with 10.49 assists per set, while Devon Rachel averages 2.76 kills per set and Maddie Hills posts 2.72 kills/set. McKala Rhodes is third in the league with 4.70 digs per set followed by Rachel with 3.38 digs/set to rank 10th in the conference. Junior Riana Brennan sits fourth in the conference in aces after 22 aces this season, averaging 0.30/set.

Elon vs. CofC
While Elon has only been in the CAA for three seasons, the Phoenix and the Cougars have a long series history from their time in the Southern Conference. Sunday is the 26th all-time meeting with CofC holding a 23-2 advantage. The last time the maroon and gold claimed a victory was on Oct. 15, 2006, in Charleston, S.C.

Phoenix Rankings
As of Oct. 11, the Phoenix is ranking high in several categories in the conference and in the nation. Nationally, Elon is 11th in total blocks, fourth in team kills, eighth in team digs and sixth in team assists, ranking first or second in the CAA in all four categories. Individually, Sydel Curry is second in the league with 10.07 assists/set. Kayla Agae is second in the conference in aces (0.33/set), while Kam Terry is third in the league in total kills (266) and fifth in kills per set (3.24). In the CAA, Maddie Jaudon is fifth in digs per set (4.50) and Michelle Klein is fifth in hitting with a .308 percentage.

Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 14th season with the Phoenix program. She enters this weekend with a 213-231 Elon and career coaching record. Tendler earned her 200th career victory on Aug. 30 with the maroon and gold’s win over North Carolina A&T.

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix throughout the season with updates on elonphoenix.com. Live stats for every volleyball match will be available on the team’s schedule and home pages on the Elon athletic website. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores.

Looking Ahead
The Phoenix goes back out on the road next weekend as the team makes a return trip to visit the Dukes and the Tribe. Elon plays at James Madison on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. before taking on William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.


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