CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Elon volleyball team ended the regular season today, Nov. 10, with a strong victory at The Citadel, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-19). The Phoenix is now 16-15 on the season and 9-7 in Southern Conference play, while the Bulldogs finish the year 6-28 (0-16 SoCon). The win guarantees Elon the North Division’s second seed in next week’s SoCon Tournament.
“We were aggressive at the service line tonight and that created lots of opportunities for us to get transition swings,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “(Ali) Deatsch was covering a lot of the court and had great control of her digs. This was an important match for us to play well so that we can go to the conference tournament on a high note.”
Ali Deatsch finished the match with an impressive 27 digs to average nine per set, while also recording two aces. Chanelle Smith led all players with 10 kills to hit .375 and help Elon hit 60 percent as a team. Ana Nicksic finished the night with 34 assists (11.3 per set) and also tallied two aces.
Elon started the first set on a 6-2 run with the help of kills by Celia Rose Eddy, C. Smith, Deatsch and an ace by Nicksic. The Bulldogs pulled within one, 9-8, before the Phoenix scored seven unanswered off three kills by Megan Gravley and an ace by Kris Harris. The maroon and gold was able to maintain its advantage through the rest of the set as a another kill by Gravley sealed the win, 25-19.
Leading the second set by five, 13-8, Elon went on a 5-0 run with kills by Eddy and Gravley to take a 10-point advantage. After extending its lead to 11, 21-10, the maroon and gold closed the set with four of the final six points to take a 2-0 match lead with a 25-12 victory.
With the third set knotted at two-all, a kill by Eddy started a span of eight straight for Elon, which was capped by back-to-back kills by C. Smith for a 10-2 lead. The Citadel closed the gap to five, 15-10, but the Bulldogs were not able to stop Elon as an ace by Carly Ledbetter gave the Phoenix a sweep with a 25-19 final-set win.
Elon will play the South Division’s number three seed in the first round of the SoCon Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. in Davidson, N.C.