ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball was unable to extend its three-match win streak as the Phoenix fell to Winthrop in straight sets Tuesday night, Sept. 17 at Schar Center.
“I thought Winthrop played great tonight from the start,” said head coach Mary Tendler after the match. “We had some really good offensive and defensive moments, but couldn’t get any rhythm going with some of the errors we were making. This was a very positive home stretch for us; we look forward to competing this weekend in the tournament at Virginia.”
The loss drops the Phoenix to 4-6 on the season.
Winthrop 3, Elon 0 | 21-25, 15-25, 24-26
Winthrop established an early 4-2 lead in the opening set, but Elon pulled even with kills by Leah Daniel and Natalie Cummins. The Phoenix and Eagles (6-3) were close until the guests pulled away with a 6-1 swing that made it 18-13. Later in the set, Kellyn Trowse scored a kill, followed with a service ace, and Nori Thomas added a kill to knot the score at 20-20, but Winthrop secured five of the next six points for a 1-0 overall lead.
The visitors continued their attack early in Set Two, forcing an Elon timeout with a 7-1 advantage. A Haylie Clarkpoint capped off a 4-0 push that trimmed the Eagle lead to 15-12, but the Phoenix was never able to get any closer. After a Winthrop service error made it 18-15, the Eagles corrected course and closed out the set with seven unanswered points.
Elon found itself in control early in Set Three, pulling ahead 10-6 as a pair of Thomas kills highlighted a 3-0 run. The Eagles clawed back, though, and overtook the hosts 18-16 following a 4-0 response. Down the stretch, another pair of Thomas kills and a pair of Winthrop errors helped the maroon and gold pull even at 23-23. Trowse answered an Eagle point with one of her own, but Winthrop earned the next two to bring the match to an end.
Daniel scored a match-high 14 kills with a .237 hitting percentage, while Trowse followed with 12 kills and a .333 clip. Kodi Garcia contributed 22 assists and Clark 13, while Daniel, Trowse, and Jordan Gower served up one ace each. Trowse led the defensive effort with 12 digs, and Clark and Gower finished with eight digs apiece.
-Garcia is now at 2,304 career assists and is 16 away from overtaking Emily Regan (2006-09) for ninth place on Elon’s career leaders list.
-Garcia came into Tuesday’s contest one dig away from 500 career digs and finished with five.
-Clark eclipsed the 400-career assists milestone. She entered the match needing only one assist to reach the mark.
Elon is on the road this weekend as the team heads to Charlottesville, Va. to compete in the Jefferson Cup, hosted by Virginia. The Phoenix opens play early Friday with a 10 a.m. contest against Lehigh, followed by a 3:30 p.m. meeting with UNCG. The team then rounds out the tournament against the host Cavaliers Saturday at 10 a.m.