ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team picked up its second-straight win tonight, Oct. 20, after defeating the Southern Conference’s top offensive team in Furman, 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20). Elon is now 12-13 on the season (5-5 SoCon), while the Paladins fall to 18-6 (7-3 SoCon)
“Our offense was really strong tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Both of our middles created offensive opportunities for themselves and Ana (Nicksic) did a good job of finding them. I liked the energy our team showed starting in the second set. They were able to sustain that energy throughout the rest of the match and pull out a big victory.”
Sophomore Kris Harris finished with a career-high 17 kills off 28 attempts and only three errors to hit .500. Freshman Megan Gravley followed with 16 kills. Freshman Ana Nicksic tallied 49 assists to average 12.25 per set. Harris also recorded five blocks to help the Phoenix out block the Paladins 8.5-5.
The first set started with a 7-4 Elon lead before Furman went on a 10-3 run to take a 14-10 advantage. Down by 10, 21-11, a kill by Harris and a triple block by Harris, Nicksic and Chanelle Smith cut the deficit to eight, 21-13. The Paladins would go on to win the first set, 25-17.
Up by one in the first set, 5-4, the Phoenix scored eight unanswered off kills by Celia Rose Eddy, Allison Johnson, Harris and three aces by Ali Deatsch to take a nine-point lead, 13-4. The Paladins pulled within four, 16-12, to force an Elon timeout. Out of the timeout, the maroon and gold maintained the lead with the help of kills by Eddy, Gravley and Carly Ledbetter and a block by Harris and Ledbetter to hold a 22-17 advantage. Elon scored three of the final four points to win, 25-18, and even the match.
Elon took an 11-9 advantage in the third before a 4-1 run off kills by Nicksic, Eddy and Gravley increased the lead to five, 15-10. Still leading by five, 20-15, a Paladin miscue and a block by Eddy and Nicksic put the maroon and gold up by seven, 22-15. The Phoenix finished the set with a kill by Eddy to win 25-18 and take a 2-1 edge in the match.
The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair with seven ties and neither team leading by more than two by the time the score reached 12-all. From there, Elon used two kills by Gravley and one by Johnson to score four straight and take the lead, 16-12. Up by three, 16-13, two kills by Eddy, one by C. Smith and an ace by Maggie Reichard helped the Phoenix to a 6-1 run to claim an eight-point advantage, 22-14. A kill by Harris helped the maroon and gold reach set point, 24-18, but the Paladins would not back down, scoring the next two to pull within four, 24-20. A kill by Gravley sealed the 25-20 set win for Elon and the match, 3-1.
The Phoenix will play its two remaining home matches of the season next weekend. Elon hosts Appalachian State on Friday, Oct. 26, and Western Carolina on senior night on Saturday, Oct. 27. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.