WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Elon volleyball team won the first set at William & Mary, today, Sept. 14, but was not able to hold on for the win, falling 3-1 (25-23, 13-25, 22-25, 16-25) in the first day of the Colonial Challenge. The Phoenix is now 5-8 on the season, while the Tribe improves to 6-5.
“We’re definitely not happy with the outcome of this match,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “But I’m happy with how we started in the first set and how we responded after the loss in the second set. We need to be more consistent from start to finish. Hopefully, we can do a better job of that tomorrow.”
Freshman Megan Gravley finished with a double-double after 11 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Chanelle Smith recorded 10 kills, while sophomore Kris Harris tallied eight. Freshman Ana Nicksic led all players with 35 assists. On defense, Gravley, senior Celia Rose Eddy and sophomore Danielle Smith all recorded three blocks each.
The Phoenix started off strong in the first set with a 7-5 lead off kills by Gravley and D. Smith and a block by Eddy and D. Smith. After the Tribe tied the score at seven-all, the set went back-and-forth until the maroon and gold went on a 6-1 run with the help of kills by Harris and C. Smith to take a five-point advantage, 17-12. William & Mary pulled within one, 18-17, but back-to-back kills by Gravley extended the Elon lead to three before the Tribe tied the set at 21-all. Elon scored four of the final six points with two more blocks by D. Smith and Eddy and a kill by Harris to win the set, 25-23.
Elon struggled in the second set as William & Mary jumped out to a 10-3 lead. Down by seven, 12-5, a kill by Harris sparked a span of three straight for the Phoenix to cut the deficit to four, 12-8. The Tribe then pulled ahead on a 5-0 run to increase its lead by nine, 17-8. Elon was not able to overcome the disadvantage as William & Mary tied the match with a 25-13 set win.
Kills by C. Smith, Harris and Allison Johnson helped the Phoenix take a three-point advantage at the beginning of the third set, 6-3. After the Tribe tied the score at seven-all and then took an 11-8 lead, a kill by Catherine Head put the maroon and gold back within two, 11-9. A block by Gravley and Head would then pull the Phoenix within one, 15-14. Down by five, 24-19, the Phoenix put together a 3-0 run off the serve of C. Smith with kills by Nicksic and Gravley to keep hold the Tribe at set point. William & Mary would go on to take the set, 25-22, and hold a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set started off extremely tight with the Phoenix and Tribe trading points. The Phoenix took a slight two-point advantage, 10-8, after a kill by C. Smith and an ace by Head. With the set tied at 12-all, William & Mary scored five straight to take a 17-12 lead. The Tribe finished the set, and the match, on an 8-4 run to win by a final of 25-16.
The Phoenix will continue play in the Colonial Challenge tomorrow, Sept. 15, with matches against Hampton and Howard at noon and 5 p.m., respectively.