GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team rallied back from two sets down to win the third set but were not able to take the match victory, falling to UNCG, 3-1 (22-25, 20-25, 25-17, 19-25), tonight, Oct. 2, in Flemming Gym. The Phoenix falls to 9-9 on the season and 1-2 in Southern Conference play, while the Spartans are now 9-7 and 2-1 in the SoCon.
“We got what we expected tonight – another close, exciting match between Elon and UNCG,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “They were in system a lot more than we were, which enabled them to have a lot more weapons offensively. Our block and defense got better as the match went along. Unfortunately, we didn’t have that at the beginning.”
Sophomore Megan Gravley recorded a match-high 13 kills, while junior Kris Harris, freshman Ally Karle, freshman Kayla Agae and junior Danielle Smith all finished with seven kills. On defense, Karle posted five blocks to help the Phoenix out-block the Spartans, 7-4.
After the Spartans took the first point, kills by Agae, Harris and Gravley gave Elon the next four for a 4-1 lead in the first set. With the Phoenix still up by four, 15-11, kills by Harris and Ana Nicksic extended the maroon and gold advantage to six, 17-11. UNCG managed to tie the set at 20-all and go on to take a 25-22 win.
Early in the second set, kills by Cali Estes, Harris, Gravley and Karle gave Elon the slight edge by one, 7-6. UNCG would take the lead by two before a kill by Agae and a block by Harris and Estes tied the score at 18-all. From there, the Spartans were able to close out the set on a 7-2 run and win 25-20.
The Phoenix rebounded in the third set, grabbing an eight-point advantage, 12-5, after blocks by Karle, Agae and Nicksic forced a Spartan timeout. Karle then recorded a kill and solo block to increase the Phoenix lead to 10, 15-5, and quickly cause UNCG to take its second and final timeout of the set. The maroon and gold would take as much as 13-point edge before a kill by Gravley won the set for the Phoenix, 25-17, to keep the match alive.
UNCG took back the momentum at the beginning of the fourth set, going up 5-1 early. Kills and a block by Harris and Gravley helped Elon to a 7-1 run to take the lead by two, 8-6. The Spartans tied the set at eight-all and the score remained close with neither team taking as much as a two-point advantage until UNCG finished the set with six straight to win, 25-19.
The Phoenix will continue play on the road as it travels to Davidson, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 4, for a 7 p.m. match against the Wildcats.