DAVIDSON, N.C. – After defeating Furman in the regular season, the Paladins took one over the Elon volleyball team in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament, 3-0 (19-25, 21-25, 15-25), to close out the 2012 season for the Phoenix.
“I thought Furman played a really good match,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We gave it everything we had but our serving and our blocking wasn’t as good as it has been during the season. The experience our younger players got throughout the season and in this match today will be beneficial for the future of our program.”
Danielle Smith led the Phoenix with nine kills followed by Chanelle Smith and Megan Gravley who each recorded eight. On defense, Celia Rose Eddy, Kris Harris and Ana Nicksic all tallied two blocks, while Ali Deatsch and Maggie Reichard each had eight digs.
After a kill by Gravley gave the Phoenix the first point of the match, the Paladins moved to a 5-3 lead in the first set. A kill by C. Smith and a block by C. Smith and Harris put Elon back on top, 6-5. With the set knotted at 11-all, kills by Gravley and D. Smith and a solo block by Eddy helped the Phoenix maintain a slight one-point advantage as the two teams traded points. Another kill by Gravley evened the set at 17 before an 8-2 run by Furman gave the Paladins a 25-19 win.
Furman jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the second set before kills by C. Smith and Gravley and a block by Nicksic and Harris capped a three-point run to tie the set at seven-all. Elon was forced to call a timeout after the Paladins moved out to a 13-9 lead, but a kill by D. Smith, a block and a kill by C. Smith and an ace by Reichard helped the Phoenix to a 4-0 run to even the score at 13. Furman grabbed the lead again, 19-14, before a kill by D. Smith sparked a 7-3 run for the maroon and gold that was finished by a block by Eddy and D. Smith to cut the deficit to one, 22-21. After a Paladin timeout, Furman managed to score three of the final four points to take a 2-0 match advantage with a 25-22 set victory.
In the third set, kills by Gravley and Eddy put the Phoenix up by two, 10-8, before Furman was able to go on a 9-1 run to take a six-point lead, 17-11. The Paladins were able to hold on to the advantage and go on to win by a final of 25-15.
The Phoenix ends the season with a 16-16 record after finishing 9-7 in conference play.