ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (5-7) earned its seventh straight win over Radford (8-4) tonight, Sept. 18, after coming back to win 3-2 (25-23,17-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8) in Alumni Gym.
“I’m really proud of the players’ toughness tonight, especially in the fourth and fifth sets,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “They got fired up after a heartbreaking third-set loss and played with a lot of confidence and aggressiveness after that. Kris (Harris) had an unbelievable match both offensively and defensively. She was very determined all night long.”
Junior Kris Harris hit an impressive .536 after a career-high 17 kills off 28 attempts and only two errors. Sophomore Megan Gravley also tallied 17 kills, while sophomore Catherine Head finished with eight. Sophomore Ana Nicksic posted her third double-double of the season after 50 assists and 12 digs.
On defense, Harris recorded seven total blocks, followed by Gravley who finished with three. Senior Maggie Reichard led the team with 19 digs, while freshman Morgan Maner posted 13.
Up by one in the first set, 4-3, kills by Gravley, Chanelle Smith and back-to-back aces by Harris extended the Elon lead to six and forced a Highlander timeout. Radford closed the gap to one, 13-12, but the Phoenix never relinquished its advantage. A kill by Harris closed the set to give the maroon and gold a 25-23 win.
With the second set tied at three-all, the Highlanders went on a 9-4 run to take a four-point lead, 11-7. Kills by Head and Kayla Agae and several errors by Radford helped Elon pull even at 13-all. The Highlanders scored the next four to reclaim its edge and eventually won the set, 25-17, to even the match.
Three straight kills by Harris helped Elon to a 14-10 lead in the third set. The Phoenix increased its advantage to six, 20-14, after kills by Danielle Smith and Head. Radford came back to tie the score at 23-all and claim the next two points to take a 25-23 victory.
In the fourth set, kills by Harris, C. Smith and a block by Harris and Gravley put Elon up by four, 14-10. Radford managed to knot the score at 17-all before a kill by D. Smith sparked a 5-2 run to give the maroon and gold a four-point edge, 23-19. Kills by Gravley and Harris gave Elon a 25-23 win, forcing fifth set.
Four kills by Gravley helped put Elon out to an 11-3 lead in the fifth set. The Highlanders were not able to overcome the strong Phoenix advantage and a kill by Harris capped a 15-8 final-set win and gave the maroon and gold the match.
Elon will play in the 49er Invitational this weekend, Sept. 20-21, against Tennessee State, South Carolina State and Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.