ELON, N.C. – After grabbing a first-set win, the Elon volleyball team was not able to hold on to win against Samford tonight, Oct. 6, falling 3-1 (27-25, 14-25, 22-25, 19-25) in Alumni Gym. The Bulldogs remain undefeated in SoCon play with a 6-0 record (14-6 overall), while the Phoenix is now 9-12 (2-4 SoCon).
“We played another great match tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Unfortunately, Samford played a little bit better. Our outside hitters really stepped up, were aggressive and mixed up their shots. I hope we can take this same mentality on the road next weekend.”
Freshman Megan Gravley finished with 13 kills, while sophomores Chanelle Smith and Danielle Smith each tallied 11. On defense, senior Ali Deatsch led all players with 17 digs.
The Bulldogs took a 13-8 lead to start the first set, forcing Elon to call an early timeout. Out of the break, the Phoenix went on a 6-2 run with the help of kills by Gravley and D. Smith to cut the deficit to two, 17-15. Down by one, 22-21, back-to-back kills by Gravley and C. Smith put the maroon and gold on top 23-22. The Bulldogs would reach set point first, 24-23, but a kill by C. Smith followed by a kill by D. Smith put the Phoenix back up by one, 25-24. Elon would close out the set with a 27-25 victory to take the match lead over the defending SoCon champs.
Down by six in the second set, 11-5, a kill by Kris Harris and a block by Celia Rose Eddy and Harris closed the gap to four, 11-7. The Bulldogs extended its lead to 11, 21-10, but the Phoenix scored three unanswered with a kill by D. Smith and an ace by Allison Johnson to force a Samford timeout, 21-13. Samford would hold on to win the set, 21-13, and even the match.
Samford led by three, 10-7, in the third set before three straight by the Phoenix tied the score at 10-all. The Bulldogs pulled out to a four-point lead, 17-13, but Elon responded with four of the next seven points to pull within three, 20-17. Samford reached set point, 24-20, but kills by Gravley and D. Smith held the Bulldogs before taking the set, 25-22.
Down by three in the fourth, 8-5, the maroon and gold used a 3-2 run close the gap to two, 10-8. A kill by Harris kept the Phoenix within two, 18-16, before the Bulldogs pulled away to finish the match with seven of the last 10 points to win, 25-19.
The Phoenix travels to Davidson on Friday, Oct. 12, for a 7 p.m. match and a 2 p.m. match at Georgia Southern on Sunday, Oct. 14.