ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team came out strong in the first set against High Point tonight, Sept. 11, but were not able to continue that energy through the match and fell to the Panthers, 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 15-25, 12-25), inside Alumni Gym. The Phoenix drops to 5-7 on the young season, while HPU improves to 8-4.
“I really liked how we started off in the first set against a very good High Point team,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We just couldn’t sustain that level of play throughout the match. We will definitely learn from this as we prepare for our last non-conference matches this weekend.”
Sophomore Kris Harris finished with eight kills, while senior Celia Rose Eddy recorded seven. On defense, junior Maggie Reichard tallied 14 digs and senior Ali Deatsch finished with 13. Sophomore Danielle Smith tied her career high with four blocks as Eddy grabbed a match-high five.
Down three in the first set, 6-3, Elon used a 7-1 run off kills by Eddy and D. Smith and blocks by Eddy, D. Smith and Chanelle Smith to take a three-point lead, 10-7. After the Panthers tied the set at 15-all, the maroon and gold scored six of the next seven points with the help of a kill by C. Smith and D. Smith and a block by Eddy and D. Smith to go up 21-16. With a five-point advantage, 23-18, a block by Megan Gravley and a kill by Harris sealed the set win for the Phoenix, 25-18.
The Panthers jumped out to the early lead in set two, 8-4, but a kill by Harris pulled the Phoenix back within three, 8-5. HPU was able to build a seven-point lead, 17-10, forcing an Elon timeout. Out of the short break, the maroon and gold scored three straight off Panther errors and another kill by Harris to cut the deficit to four, 17-13. However, High Point was able to maintain its lead and win the set, 25-17.
The third set remained close with the Phoenix and Panthers trading points back-and-forth and the score tied at five-all. High Point then managed to grab a 11-point lead, 21-10, but Elon went on a 5-0 run off kills by Eddy, Gravley and C. Smith and an ace by Gravley to pull within six, 21-15. The Panthers then finished the set with four straight to win 25-15.
High Point grabbed the momentum from the last set and took a 6-1 lead to start the fourth. The Phoenix closed the gap to three, 9-6, with Panther mistakes and kills by Gravley and D. Smith. However, HPU took the rest of the set on a 16-3 run an won 25-12.
Elon will close out non-conference play this weekend in the Colonial Classic in Williamsburg, Va. The Phoenix faces host William & Mary on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. before taking on Hampton and Howard on Saturday, Sept. 15.