ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (4-7) split a pair of matches in the final day of the Elon Phoenix Classic today, Sept. 14, in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix swept North Carolina Central (0-12), 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-11) before falling to East Carolina, 3-0 (23-25, 22-25, 16-25), in the final day of the tournament.
“We played some very good volleyball for most of the weekend,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We haven’t been a high error team but somehow the errors showed up tonight against ECU. It was nice to get two wins this weekend. Hopefully the success of the weekend carries into our match on Wednesday against Radford.”
Elon 3, NC Central 0
With the first set tied at 13-all, a kill by Kris Harris sparked a 7-0 run for Elon to take the lead, 20-13. Kills by Kayla Agae, Ally Karle and Danielle Smith kept the seven-point edge for the Phoenix before back-to-back blocks by D. Smith closed out the set and gave Elon the 25-16 win.
The Eagles took a 7-3 advantage early in the second set before six straight, with the help of three blocks by Karle, put the maroon and gold up by two, 9-7. NCCU tied the score at 14-all, but kills by Harris and Chanelle Smith forced an Eagle timeout. The set became tied for the sixth time at 20-all before kills by Megan Gravley, Cali Estes and C. Smith and back-to-back blocks by Harris and Estes ended the set on a 5-0 run to give the maroon and gold a 25-20 victory and a 2-0 match lead.
The Phoenix jumped out to a strong 7-1 lead early in the third set off the serves of D. Smith and C. Smith. Elon extended its advantage to 10, 16-6, after an ace by D. Smith and a kill by Harris. With the lead at 11, 21-10, kills by D. Smith, C. Smith and two by Karle closed out the set for the Phoenix, 25-11.
Harris led all players with 10 kills to hit .500, while Smith finished with seven. Karle hit an impressive. 625 after five kills off eight attempts and no errors. Ana Nicksic helped the Phoenix to a .333 attack percentage after 26 assists to average 8.6 assists/set.
Elon out blocked the Eagles 11-4 with the help of six blocks by Harris and four by Karle.
East Carolina 3, Elon 0
Trailing by six, 20-14, in the first set, kills by Harris, C. Smith and an ace by Nicksic cut the deficit to one, 20-19. The Pirates were able to score three of the next five points to reach set point first, but the Phoenix held ECU and pulled back within one, 24-23. The Pirates would eventually take the set, 25-23.
Kills by C. Smith helped the maroon and gold maintain a two-point advantage through much of the second set. ECU tied the score and took a 20-18 lead before kills by C. Smith and Gravley tied the set at 21-all. The Pirates would then finish the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-22.
With the third set tied at four-all, ECU managed a run of five straight to take a 9-4 lead. Kills by Estes and C. Smith and an ace by Harris closed the gap to two, 16-14, before the Pirates scored three of the next four to force an Elon timeout. ECU closed out the set with a 25-16 victory to claim the match, 3-0.
C. Smith led the Phoenix with nine kills, while Harris finished with eight kills and two aces. On defense, both Harris and Catherine Head recorded two blocks each to help the maroon and gold to five total team blocks.
Harris and Nicksic were both named to the Elon Phoenix Classic all-tournament team for their performances.
Elon will remain home in Alumni Gym to host Radford on Wednesday, Sept. 18, in a 6 p.m. match.