HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (2-6) overcame a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set at High Point (3-4) tonight, Sept. 10, but the Phoenix were not able to close the match out, falling to the Panthers, 3-2 (22-25, 11-25, 25-18, 25-21, 10-15), in the Millis Center.
“Our effort wasn’t there at the beginning of the match tonight and we needed to play better as a team,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We showed a lot of energy starting in the third set but we were not able to keep it going in the fifth set. We look forward to playing back in Alumni Gym on Friday.”
Sophomore Megan Gravley led the Phoenix with 11 kills, while junior Danielle Smith finished with 10 kills. Sophomore Ana Nicksic recorded her second double-double of the season after leading Elon in assists (34) and digs (21).
With the Phoenix leading by two, 13-11, in the first set, two kills by Cali Estes helped Elon extend its advantage to five and force a Panther timeout. HPU managed to close the gap and take a 23-20 lead before kills by Estes and Kris Harris pulled the Phoenix within one, 23-22. However, the Panthers were able to hold on and claim the set, 25-22.
In the second set, kills by Gravley and Catherine Head kept the score close until HPU managed a 5-0 run to take a 14-7 advantage. The maroon and gold were not able to rally as the Panthers took a 25-11 victory and a 2-0 match lead.
HPU held a two-point edge, 7-5, before kills by Harris, Gravley and a block by Ally Karle and Nicksic helped Elon to a 5-0 run to take a 10-7 lead. Back-to-back kills by D. Smith and one by Kayla Agae put the Phoenix up by eight, 17-9. The Phoenix continued its strong attack as a kill by Gravley capped a 25-18 win and kept the match alive for the maroon and gold.
With the fourth set tied at seven-all, a kill by Gravley sparked a 5-1 run by Elon to take a five-point edge, 13-8, and force an HPU timeout. The Panthers cut the deficit to two, 22-20, but kills by Gravley and D. Smith gave Elon a 25-21 victory to force a fifth and final set.
In the fifth and final set, the Phoenix took an early 3-2 edge after an ace by Maggie Reichard before the Panthers grabbed the lead by five, 12-7. Elon forced several Panther errors to cut the deficit to two, 12-10, but HPU managed to hold on for the 15-10 win.
Elon will return home to Alumni Gym for the annual Elon Phoenix Classic this weekend. The Phoenix will face Gardner-Webb in its first match of the tournament on Friday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.
SET SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 Elon (2) 22 11 25 25 10 High Point (3) 25 25 18 21 15 Team Records: Elon 2-6 High Point 3-4