ELON, N.C. – After falling to Appalachian State earlier this season, the Elon volleyball team came out strong tonight, Oct. 26, to sweep the Mountaineers, 3-0 (25-19, 28-26, 25-23), in Alumni Gym during its Live Pink match. This marked sixth straight year the Phoenix (13-13, 6-5 SoCon) has defeated ASU (6-19, 2-9 SoCon) at home. Elon is currently on a three-match winning streak and has won four of its last five.
“Appalachian State is a very talented team that pushed us in both the second and third sets,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “It was really good to see our team push back every time ASU made a run. One thing we focused on tonight was our block and I think it had a huge effect on the outcome of the match. We were able to score points off our block and make their hitters take different shots.”
Sophomore Chanelle Smith recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills off 23 attempts with only one error to hit .435 and 11 digs. Freshman Megan Gravley led the Phoenix with 13 kills, while freshman Ana Nicksic finished with 38 assists (12.6 per set) to help Elon hit. 258.
On defense, sophomore Kris Harris had five blocks as Nicksic and senior Celia Rose Eddy each tallied four. The Phoenix out blocked the Mountaineers, 9-4.
Down by two in the first set, 7-5, Elon scored five straight with kills and two blocks by Harris and Nicksic to take the lead by three, 10-7. The Mountaineers pulled back within one, 16-15, before the Phoenix went on a 3-1 run to force ASU to call its second timeout of the set. Up by three, 22-19, the maroon and gold scored the final three points of the set off an ace by Harris, a kill by Eddy and a block by Nicksic and Eddy to take a 25-19 win.
With the second set tied at six-all, Elon used a 9-1 run that included three kills by C. Smith, one by Danielle Smith, a block by Harris and an ace by Ali Deatsch to take a 15-7 lead. The Mountaineers picked away at the maroon and gold lead and were able to tie the set again at 21. ASU took the advantage and reached set point first, 24-22. A kill by D. Smith, a block by Nicksic and Harris and a kill by C. Smith helped the Phoenix to three unanswered to reach the second set point of the match, 25-24. The teams traded points and found the set knotted again at 26-all. Back-to-back kills by Gravley gave Elon the last two points and the victory, 28-26.
Elon opened the third set with a four-point advantage, 7-3, with the help of two straight kills by D. Smith. ASU was able to tie the set at 14-all before a 4-2 run put the Phoenix back up, 19-16. The Mountaineers would not go easily and evened the set at 20 to force Elon to call its first timeout of the set. With the score at 23-all, kills by C. Smith and Harris sealed a 25-23 win for the Phoenix and the match sweep.
Elon will play its final home match of the season tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 27, against Western Carolina at 7 p.m. The Phoenix will honor its five seniors – Deatsch, Eddy, Carly Ledbetter, Allison Johnson and Alli Nogi prior to the match.
“I’m really looking forward to honoring our five seniors tomorrow night,” said Tendler. “As well as closing out our home matches on a positive note.”