ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team got back in the win column tonight, Sept. 17, with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-12) sweep over North Carolina A&T in Alumni Gym. The victory improves the Phoenix to 4-7 on the season, while the Aggies fall to 0-12.
“Our servers and passers did a great job tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We didn’t have a lot of aces but we kept North Carolina A&T out of system and we were able to go on a lot of serving runs. I liked our focus at the service line. Our passers communicated very well and they worked together as a unit. Being able to serve and pass well was the key to winning this match.”
Kayla Agae led the Phoenix with a double-double after 10 kills and 10 digs. Chelsea Rafetto also tallied a double-double with 24 assists and 10 digs, while Morgan Maner posted a match-high 15 digs. Catherine Head and Sydney Busa both recorded four blocks to help the team to eight total blocks.
The Aggies came out strong in the first set taking a 4-1 lead before blocks by Danielle Smith, Karle and Rafetto and kills by D. Smith, Rafetto and Chanelle Smith capped a 8-4 run to give Elon a 9-8 advantage. Still holding a one-point edge, 12-11, the Phoenix forced several A&T mistakes and used a block by Karle and Busa and a kill by D. Smith to extend the lead to six, 20-14. Elon closed out the set with kills by Agae and Head to claim a 25-20 win.
The second set saw a tight score with neither team taking more than a two-point lead and six ties by the time the score reached 18-all. A&T moved out to a three-point advantage, 21-18, and used a kill by Aleena McDaniel to maintain the edge, 22-19. From there, the Phoenix rallied with a block by Head and Busa and several Aggie errors to score six straight and come back to win, 25-22.
Off the serve of Rafetto, the maroon and gold jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set. The Phoenix extended the advantage to seven, 11-4, after kills by Agae, Kris Harris and three from C. Smith. Leading by six, 13-7, three kills by Head, one by Agae and a block by both players helped Elon to a 6-0 run to go up by 12, 19-7. The Phoenix kept the momentum going and used a kill by Harris to seal a 25-12 victory and the match sweep.
Elon will conclude tournament play this weekend in the Deacon Classic in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Phoenix plays its first match of the tournament against Western Carolina on Friday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m.