Elon Volleyball Begins SoCon Tournament Friday

ELON, N.C. – The No. 8 seeded Elon volleyball team (16-16) is set to take on No. 1 seeded Georgia Southern (25-5) in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Southern Conference Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Nov. 22, at 12:30 p.m. in Timmons Arena on the campus of Furman in Greenville, S.C.

Last Time Out
Elon dropped its last regular-season match of the year in a closely contested match to Davidson, 3-2. Despite the loss, the Phoenix saw two players post double-doubles and one with a triple-double. Cali Estes recorded 14 kills, 27 assists and a team-high 20 digs, while Ana Nicksic finished with 27 assists and 10 digs and Chanelle Smith with 10 kills and 10 digs.

Elon vs. Georgia Southern
The Phoenix and the Eagles have met twice already this season with GSU taking victories in both matches. The last time Elon picked up a win over the Eagles was during the 2009 season when the maroon and gold won, 3-1, in Alumni Gym.

Against the Tournament Field
Elon went a combined 3-8 against the teams in the tournament field this year. The Phoenix picked up wins over No. 2 seed Furman, No. 5 seed Appalachian State and No. 6 seed Western Carolina.

Phoenix in the SoCon Tournament
This marks Elon’s fourth straight and eighth overall appearance in the SoCon Tournament since joining the league in 2003. Last season, the maroon and gold fell to No. 3 South seed Furman. Elon and GSU last met in the 2010 tournament in the semifinals. The Eagles won the match, 3-1, and went on to win the conference crown. The Phoenix is 2-8 all-time in the tournament.

All-Conference Honors
On Nov. 20, the Southern Conference announced that both Cali Estes and Ally Karle had received all-conference honors. Estes was named to the all-conference second team after an outstanding year making an impact in every facet of the game for the Phoenix. Karle earned all-freshman honors as she leads the team with a .298 hitting percentage and ranks 10th in the league in conference play.

Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 11th season with the Phoenix. She enters the tournament with a 185-174 career coaching mark. Tendler was honored by the league’s coaches in 2010 as the SoCon Coach of the Year.

Elon ranks second in the conference in team service aces per set. The Phoenix has recorded 152 aces in its 124 sets played, averaging 1.23 aces/set. Four Elon players have recorded 20+ aces this season – Morgan Maner (25), Kris Harris (25), Cali Estes (23) and Ana Nicksic (20). Almost 80 percent of Estes’ aces have come in conference play as she’s aced 18 serves in the 16 matches.

Seeing Double (and Triple)
Phoenix players have posted 23 double-doubles this season, including six triple-doubles from Cali Estes. Estes has been consistent on both sides of the ball, recording double-digit efforts in kills, assists and digs. She posted a string of triple-doubles in four straight matches during the regular season. Estes has also recorded four double-doubles, while Ana Nickic has nine double-doubles to her name this season. Chanelle Smith and Kayla Agae have also gotten in on the double-double action with three and two, respectively.

Looking Ahead
The winner of the Elon/Georgia Southern match will face the winner of the No. 4 seed UNCG vs. No. 5 seed Appalachian State match on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 5 p.m. in the semifinals.