ORLANDO, Fla. – The Elon volleyball team fell in another heart-breaking five-set match to George Washington, 3-2 (25-16, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 11-15), today, Sept. 7, in the final day of the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic.
“It’s a tough weekend when you go 0-3 and lose two five-set matches,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “I really like how we competed in these matches but we need to learn to be more confident and aggressive in crucial situations. That will come with time.”
Junior Chanelle Smith recorded a match-high 16 kills, while sophomore Megan Gravley finished with 15. Junior Kris Harris tallied 11 kills to go along with three aces.
On defense, Elon out blocked GWU, 15-11. Sophomore Catherine Head recorded a career-high seven blocks with C. Smith, Cali Estes and Danielle Smith all contributing three.
With the first set tied at 12-all, the seventh tie of the set, a kill and an ace by Harris and a block by Head and C. Smith helped the Phoenix to four straight, giving Elon a 16-12 lead and forcing a Colonial timeout. The maroon and gold finished the set on an 11-4 run to win by a 25-16 final.
In the second set, three kills by Harris and one by Head helped Elon to an 11-8 advantage. GWU battled back and managed to tie the set at 17-all. Kills by C. Smith gave the Phoenix a 23-21 lead, but the Colonials were able to finish score the next four and claim a 25-23 victory.
Elon grabbed a six-point lead, 10-4, early in the third set before GWU managed to close the gap to two, 12-10. From there, a block and kill by C. Smith led the Phoenix to a 7-0 run that put Elon ahead by eight, 18-10. The maroon and gold held on to its strong lead and used a block by Harris to close out the third set, 25-18, and take a 2-1 match lead. C. Smith recorded an impressive seven kills in the third set off nine attempts and only one error to hit .667.
With the Colonials leading 18-15 in the fourth set, kills by C. Smith and Gravley helped the Phoenix close the gap to one, 19-18, and force a GWU timeout. However, the Colonials managed to hold on and force a fifth and final set, winning the set 25-22.
Huge blocks by Head and D. Smith and Head and Gravley gave Elon an 8-6 lead in the fifth. The Colonials tied the score at 10-all and were able to finish on a 5-1 run to win the set, 15-11, and the match, 3-2.
Elon’s next match will be on Tuesday, Sept. 10, when the Phoenix travels to High Point to face the Panthers in a 7 p.m. match in High Point, N.C.