Elon Phoenix Volleyball Opens 2013 Season on Friday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team opens the 2013 season on Friday, Aug. 30, at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational in Annapolis, Md. The Phoenix will face Illinois-Chicago in its first match at 4 p.m. that day and close out the tournament against UNC Wilmington and host Navy at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, on Saturday, Aug. 31. The maroon and gold has posted a 5-1 record in season openers over the last six seasons.

“The 13 players we have on the team this year came to preseason practices ready to go,” said 11th year head coach Mary Tendler. “I was very happy with the fitness level and the level of play right from the start. The competition for starting positions has been intense. The depth that we have at each position will be very valuable as we start our season. After 20 plus days of practices and meetings, we are all very excited to start playing this weekend.”

Elon returns nine players from its 2012 squad, including four starters. Team category leaders from 2012 that are returning in the maroon and gold include junior Kris Harris and sophomores Megan Gravley and Ana Nicksic. Harris led the team in attack percentage (.243), Gravley was the leader in kills per set (3.04) and Nicksic was at the top in assists/set (9.73) and service aces/set (0.23). Junior Chanelle Smith is Elon’s top returner in digs per set (2.54), while Harris is the best returning blocker after 0.87 blocks/set last season.

The team, which finished 16-16 overall last year and 9-7 in the Southern Conference, was picked to finish sixth by the league’s head coaches last week in the preseason poll. The conference, which has previously been split into two six-team divisions, will now play with all 11-league teams in one division. The Phoenix will play its conference opener on Friday, Sept. 27, at Georgia Southern.

As the season kicks off, the 2013 Volleyball Viewbook is now available online and can be viewed by clicking here.

The 2013 squad will make its debut in Alumni Gym on Tuesday, Sept. 3, when it hosts Campbell in a 7 p.m. match.

Elon vs. Illinois-Chicago
Date: Friday, Aug. 30
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Annapolis, Md.
Last meeting: Sept. 8, 2007, at UIC – UIC won, 3-0

Elon vs. UNC Wilmington
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Annapolis, Md.
Last meeting: Sept. 18, 2010, at UNCW – UNCW won, 3-2

Elon at Navy
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Annapolis, Md.
Last meeting: Sept. 19, 2009, at Elon – Elon won, 3-0