Elon Phoenix Volleyball Concludes Tournament Against Gamecocks, Camels

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (3-7) closed out play in the Hampton Inn & Suites of Holly Springs Invitational today, Sept. 13, with matches against South Carolina (7-2) and host Campbell (5-6) in Gore Arena. The Phoenix fell in both contests with the Gamecocks taking a 3-0 (12-25, 15-25, 16-25) victory in the morning before the Camels claimed a 3-1 (17-25, 28-26, 18-25) victory over the maroon and gold in the final match of the tournament.

“We played two very different teams today in South Carolina and Campbell,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Both presented different challenges for our team, challenges we were not able to overcome. Credit goes to both the Gamecocks and the Camels for earning victories.”

South Carolina 3, Elon 0
The Gamecocks came out strong in the first set, taking a 7-1 advantage and forcing an early Elon timeout. USC would maintain its lead and move on to take the set, 25-12.

The Phoenix rebounded at the beginning of the second set with a 3-1 edge to start. Kills by Sydney Busa and Kris Harris gave the maroon and gold the lead before the Gamecocks evened the score at five-all. With USC leading by six, 15-9, Elon cut the deficit to three, 16-13, with a 4-1 run that included kills by Ally Karle and Busa and blocks by Michelle Klein, Kayla Agae and Busa. But the Gamecocks continued its strong play to win, 25-15.

In the third set, kills by Klein and Agae kept the Phoenix within four, 8-4. Kills by Agae and Busa and a block by Karle and Busa would spark Elon but it was not enough as the Gamecocks won, 25-16.

Busa posted seven kills in the match, while Danielle Smith finished with six. On defense, Morgan Maner tallied 13 digs and Agae recorded 12.

Campbell 3, Elon 1
Trailing by four in the first set, 10-6, the Phoenix used a 4-1 run off kills by Ana Nicksic, Busa and D. Smith to close the gap to one, 11-10. However, the Camels responded with the next six points to extend its advantage to seven. A kill by Agae and some CU errors put the maroon and gold within five, 22-17, but Campbell held on for a 25-17 win.

Campbell led the second set, 6-4, before Elon scored four straight off two kills by Busa, one by Klein and a block by Klein and Nicksic to take a two-point lead, 8-6. Kills by Klein and Agae pushed the Phoenix to an 11-7 edge, forcing a Camel timeout. Elon would maintain the lead and reached set point, 24-22, on a Busa kill. CU rallied and held the maroon and gold twice before a block by Agae and Klein sealed a 28-26 victory to even the match.

The Phoenix jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set but the Camels rebounded to go up by three, 10-7. Two kills by Klein helped the maroon and gold to three straight to even the set at 10-all. With CU leading, 17-15, Elon used a 5-0 run capped by a block by Nicksic and Klein to take the advantage, 20-17. After a kill by Agae put the Phoenix up 23-20, the Camels managed to score four straight and take set point. Elon would hold Campbell for a time but the Camels claimed the win, 27-25.

Three kills by D. Smith and a block by Agae and D. Smith gave Elon a 6-0 lead to start the fourth set. CU would chip away at the Elon advantage to even the score at 11-all and take a 13-11 lead. The Camels continued with the momentum and took set point, 24-15. Kills by Chanelle Smith, Nicksic and Agae pulled the Phoenix closer but it was not enough as CU moved on to a 25-18 victory.

Agae recorded another double-double, her third of the season, with 15 kills and a career-high 23 digs and was named to the all-tournament team. Nicksic also put up a double-double with 38 assists and 15 digs. Busa posted 15 kills, while Maner led the match with 28 digs.

Elon returns home on Wednesday, Sept. 17, to face North Carolina A&T at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.