BOONE, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team was not able to pull out a win after a tight and hard fought match at Appalachian State tonight, Sept. 29, in the Holmes Center. The Phoenix (8-10, 1-2 SoCon) fell to the Mountaineers (5-12, 1-2 SoCon) by a final of 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 24-26, 17-25).
“We used a different lineup tonight, which did very well defensively, producing a lot of blocks and digs,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We are a better team in our second week of SoCon play and that’s a good sign.”
Sophomore Chanelle Smith claimed a double-double after leading Elon with 10 kills and recording 15 digs. Sophomores Danielle Smith and Kris Harris both finished the night wit eight kills. On defense, freshman Catherine Head tallied a career-high nine blocks, while D. Smith recorded five. The Phoenix out blocked the Mountaineers 13-10.
Elon jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first set off two kills from Harris, one by Megan Gravley and a block by Harris and Ana Nicksic to force an early Mountaineer timeout. With the Phoenix up by six, 12-6, ASU managed to score eight unanswered to take a 14-12 advantage. After the Mountaineers extended its lead to seven, 23-16, a kill by D. Smith and two aces by Allison Johnson helped Elon to a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to two, 23-21. However, ASU was able to hold on to the lead and won the set, 25-22.
A kill by Celia Rose Eddy helped the Phoenix take a four-point advantage, 8-4, in the second set. After the Mountaineers tied the score at eight-all, both squads traded points back and forth before the maroon and gold took a two-point lead, 14-12. Kills by C. Smith and D. Smith helped Elon maintain its advantage and extend the lead to three, 18-15. ASU pulled within two, 21-19, but a block by Head and Eddy and an ace by Nicksic put the Phoenix up by four, 23-19. With the set tied at 23-all, a block by Head and D. Smith and a kill by Head won the set for the Phoenix, 25-23, to even the match.
With the maroon and gold holding an 8-7 lead in the third, kills by Harris and Gravley and a block by Eddy and Head helped the Phoenix score three straight to go up by four, 11-7. After a block by Gravley and Head put Elon up by five, 13-8, the Mountaineers managed to knot the set at 13. Several strong blocks by the Phoenix helped the maroon and gold score six of the next nine points to lead 19-16. ASU evened the score again at 19-all as the teams traded points back and forth before Elon grabbed the first set point, 24-22. The Mountaineers were able to keep the Phoenix from taking the set and pulled out the win, 26-24.
A kill by C. Smith gave Elon a slight lead to start the fourth set, 5-3. ASU took the lead and held a five-point edge, 14-9, before a kill by D. Smith broke a 4-0 run by the Mountaineers to make it 14-10. A block by Head and D. Smith kept the Phoenix within four, 16-12, but three straight by ASU left the maroon and gold down by seven, 19-12. The Mountaineers held on for the set, 25-17, and the match win, 3-1.
Elon will return home for a pair of matches next weekend. The Phoenix faces Chattanooga on Friday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. and Samford on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.