CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sydney Busa earned new career highs in kills and digs on Saturday, Aug. 26, in leading the Elon University volleyball team to a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 29-27, 11-25, 15-11) victory over Charlotte in the final match of the Charlotte Invitational.
“What a great match. Both teams played well but had their ups and downs, but I was proud of our team for coming back so strong in the fifth set after struggling in the fourth,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Give credit to Charlotte for playing really good defense and having such a strong block. We look forward to our first match at home in Alumin Gym on Tuesday against North Carolina A&T.”
Busa recorded 28 kills and 23 digs in the match to pace the Phoenix. She passed 900 career kills in the match and now stands at 902. Kam Terry also had a stellar match with 21 kills and 14 digs to go with two aces and a block. She passed the 600-kill mark and now has 602 in her career. Both players were named to the Charlotte Invitational All-Tournament Team after the match.
The Phoenix opened the match by doubling up the 49ers in the opening points, going up 6-3 after Courtney Carpenter downed a kill after Charlotte floated an Elon serve back over the net. Elon continued to hold Charlotte at arm’s length until it went up 11-7 with a kill by Nori Thomas that forced a 49er timeout. Out of the break, the two teams traded the first few points until Elon went on a 5-1 run to force a second Charlotte timeout at 18-12. The stoppage couldn’t help Charlotte back into the set, though, with the Phoenix taking the opening set 25-17 behind a stellar .405 hitting percentage and eight kills from Busa.
Charlotte turned the tables on the Phoenix in the second set, keeping the Phoenix at arm’s length in the early going while slowly extending the lead. In the end, the 49ers took the second set 25-17 to knot the match at 1-1.
Elon opened the third with three straight points thanks to kills by Busa and Terry and an ace by Maddie Jaudon. But Charlotte answered with a 12-3 run, during which Tendler was forced to burn both of Elon’s timeouts. Following the second stoppage, Elon turned the six-point deficit into a tied set by going on a 9-3 run to knot it up at 15-all, forcing a 49er timeout. Down the stretch, the two teams traded points until back-to-back kills by Terry won the set for the Phoenix, 29-27, to put Elon up 2-1 in the match.
Early in the fourth, Elon built a small 9-7 lead thanks to a 4-1 run that turned a 6-5 deficit into the two-point lead. But from there, Charlotte went on a 13-0 run to go up 20-9 before Elon could get another point on the board. The run ultimately finished at 18-2 with Charlotte taking the set 25-11.
After swapping the first four points of the final set, Elon took control with a 6-1 run to take the score from 2-2 to 8-3 behind four kills from three different hitters. It also made use of two Charlotte errors during the run. The 49ers answered, though, by clawing back in with a 5-1 run to come within one at 9-8, forcing an Elon timeout. The Phoenix recovered out of the timeout, though, and held on for the victory, 15-11.
-Busa finished the weekend with 59 kills and 43 digs.
-Terry closed the tournament with 54 kills, 34 digs and four blocks.
-Playing her first collegiate matches, Kodi Garcia had 50 assists and finished the weekend with 123. She posted double-doubles against both Southern Utah and Charlotte, finishing the match against the 49ers with 14 digs to go with the 50 assists.
-Jaudon closed the match with 26 digs. She is now 37 away from 1,000 in her career.
-The win avenged a season-opening 3-1 loss to the 49ers in 2016, when Charlotte jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the way to the four-set win.
CHARLOTTE INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Sydney Busa, Elon
Kam Terry, Elon
Brie Lewis, Belmont
Arianna Person, Belmont
Yumi Garcia, Charlotte
Sydney Brown, Charlotte
Jenai King, South Carolina State
Macky Fafita, Southern Utah
Tournament MVP: Arianna Person, Belmont
Elon will open its 46th and final home slate inside Alumni Gym on Tuesday, Aug. 29, against North Carolina A&T. First serve is set for 7 p.m.