Elon Volleyball Ends Five-Year Drought at Davidson

DAVIDSON, N.C. – After dropping the first set, the Elon volleyball team came back to win three straight and take a 3-1 (18-25, 29-27, 27-25, 25-10) win over Davidson tonight, Oct. 12. The victory marked the first for the Phoenix (10-12, 3-4 SoCon) over the Wildcats (7-10, 3-4) in Belk Arena since 2007.

“The key to the match tonight were the second and third sets,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We made a lot of clutch plays to pull both of those out. It was nice to see the team confident in those tight situations. We had a good defensive effort throughout the match and our offense kept getting better as the match went along. This is a big road and conference win for us.”

Freshman Megan Gravley finished with 15 kills and sophomore Kris Harris tallied 11. Sophomore Chanelle Smith claimed her fourth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 16 digs.

On defense, senior Celia Rose Eddy recorded a career-high nine blocks, while Harris finished the night with four. Senior Ali Deatsch tallied 24 digs and freshman Chelsea Rafetto had a career-high 16 digs.

Davidson jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set before kills by Gravley and Ana Nicksic and an ace by Harris cut the deficit to two, 6-4. The Wildcats regained a five-point advantage, 10-5, but the Phoenix whittled away at the Davidson lead and pulled back within two, 14-12, after back-to-back kills by C. Smith and Rafetto. With Davidson leading, 22-15, kills by Eddy and C. Smith and an ace by Maggie Reichard helped the Phoenix to 3-1 run. However, the Wildcats were able to hold on and take the set, 25-18.

The Wildcats took another lead to start the second, 3-0, but a block by Eddy and Gravley helped Elon score three unanswered to tie the set. Down by five, 15-10, the maroon and gold then went on a 7-3 run with kills by Gravley, Eddy, Alli Nogi and Harris, a block by Eddy and Gravley and an ace by Deatsch to pull within one, 18-17, and force a Davidson timeout. With the Wildcats holding a three-point advantage, 22-19, Elon scored three straight off a kill by Smith and a block and a kill by Gravley to tie the set at 22-all. The Wildcats and Phoenix traded points from there with Davidson earning set point first, 24-23. A kill by Gravley and a block by Eddy and Nogi put Elon at set point, 25-24. The score reached three more ties before an ace by Rafetto gave the Phoenix a 29-27 victory.

The Phoenix used the momentum from the second-set win to take a 6-2 lead in the third with the help of three kills from Gravley. A block by Eddy and Nogi and a kill by Eddy helped Elon take a five-point advantage, 8-3, before the Wildcats tied the set at 10-all. With the maroon and gold leading by two, 14-12, Davidson managed an 8-3 run to take the lead by three, 20-17. A kill by Rafetto tied the set at 23-all before the Wildcats claimed the next point to reach set point. The Phoenix stopped Davidson and a kill by Harris and a block by Nicksic and Eddy gave Elon the 27-25 win and a 2-1 match lead.

With the fourth set tied at six-all, the Phoenix scored five unanswered off kills by Danielle Smith, Eddy and C. Smith, a block by Eddy and D. Smith and an ace by Reichard to go up 11-6. After a Davidson point to make it 11-7 in favor of the maroon and gold, Elon went on a 6-0 run with kills and a block by Harris and D. Smith and back-to-back kills by C. Smith to take an 11-point advantage, 18-7. The Phoenix would take seven of the final 10 points to win the set, 25-10, and the match.

Elon will play at Georgia Southern on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. before returning to Alumni Gym for its final four home matches of the season.