ELON, N.C. – In a match that could either way every set, the Elon volleyball team (16-16, 7-9 SoCon) could not best Davidson (16-14, 7-9 SoCon), falling in five, 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 7-15), tonight, Nov. 16, in Alumni Gym on senior night.
“Both teams competed hard tonight and it was a great volleyball match that was full of emotion,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Watching Cali (Estes) and Maggie (Reichard) compete one last time in Alumni Gym in front of a loud crowd was awesome. They both played really well. Maggie made some unbelievable plays and Cali filled up the stat sheet once again. Maggie, Cali and Will (Llamas) have meant a lot to this program and they will be missed.”
Cali Estes posted her sixth triple-double of the season with a team-high 14 kills, 27 assists and a team-high 20 digs. Elon saw two players record double-doubles as Ana Nicksic tallied 27 assists and 10 digs and Chanelle Smith finished with 10 kills and 10 digs. Danielle Smith also finished in double-digit kills with 11. Ally Karle recorded a team-high four blocks, along with three blocks from Kayla Agae.
The Wildcats started the first set on a 3-1 run before a kill and an ace by D. Smith helped the Phoenix even the score at five-all. The set saw nine more ties before kills by Estes and D. Smith put Elon up by two, 19-17. Davidson managed to go on a 6-0 run to move ahead, 23-19, and eventually take the set, 25-20.
With Davidson holding a 10-7 lead, the maroon and gold responded with a 6-1 run with the help of kills by Karle, Agae and blocks by Karle, Agae and Gravley to take a 13-11 advantage. Elon would hold that edge until two kills by Karle put the Phoenix up, 23-20. Kills by Gravley and D. Smith would close out the set and give Elon a 25-21 win.
The third set kept the tone of the previous sets with no team taking more than a two point lead the whole set. With the score tied at 22-all, a kill by D. Smith put the Phoenix up 23-22. However, the Wildcats managed to take the next two points and win the set, 25-23.
Elon grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the fourth set after kills by Nicksic and Estes and a block by D. Smith and Estes. With the set tied at 16-all, back-to-back kills by Estes gave the maroon and gold a two-point edge, 18-16. Still holding the same advantage, 23-21, Elon used a kill by Agae and Wildcat errors to win 25-22 and send the match into a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth and final set, Davidson took the momentum from the start and jumped out to an 8-3 lead. Elon forced some Wildcat errors, but Davidson held on to win the set, 15-7, and the match 3-2.
The Phoenix will play in the Southern Conference Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 22. The tournament will be held in Greenville, S.C. on the campus of Furman.