ELON, N.C. – After trailing 2-0, the Elon volleyball team rallied to hold off Hofstra for a brief time but eventually fell to the Pride, 3-1 (21-25, 18-25, 25-19, 21-25), tonight, Sept. 26, in Alumni Gym in the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association match. Hofstra improves to 13-2 on the season and 1-0 in the CAA, while the Phoenix falls to 5-11 (0-1 CAA).
“The players gave it their all tonight against a very good and well coached Hofstra team,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Overall, we were very consistent and played well. We tried everything to slow down their outside hitters, we just didn’t get the job done well enough to win. It was a very exciting match to be a part of and we look forward to more battles against CAA opponents.”
Megan Gravley posted 16 kills and eight digs, while Kris Harris hit .333 with 10 kills and two blocks. On defense, Morgan Maner led the way with 12 digs, while Sydney Busa and Ally Karle also posted two blocks along with Harris.
Off the serve of Kaitlyn Krause, the Pride got off to a 4-0 advantage in the first set. Hofstra led by as much as eight, 18-10, before two kills by both Gravley and Harris helped the Phoenix to a 7-2 run to close the gap to three, 20-17. The Pride was able to maintain its slight edge and move on to a 25-21 win.
With Hofstra leading by four, 8-4, in the second set, Elon used kills by Chanelle Smith and Gravley and two Pride errors to record four straight and even the set at eight-all. Hofstra answered with a 10-2 run to go up by as much as eight, 18-10, forcing an Elon timeout. Elon closed the gap to five, 23-18, after a Gravley kill, but the Pride held on to win 25-18 to take a 2-0 match lead.
Kills by Busa and Gravley and a block by Catherine Head and Gravley gave Elon a 7-4 advantage and forced the Pride to call an early timeout in the third set. Kills by Harris and Gravley, an ace by Smith and a block by Busa and Harris capped four straight for the maroon and gold and moved the advantage to six, 16-10. The Pride managed to pull within four, 19-15, but the Phoenix quickly moved back ahead, 22-16. A kill by Harris sealed the set win, 25-19, and kept the match alive for Elon.
The fourth set was tight in the beginning with eight ties by the time the score reached eight-all. Pride errors and a block by Karle and Harris put the Phoenix ahead by three, 11-8. Hofstra managed to even the set again, 12-all, and eventually take a 19-14 lead. Elon pulled back within three, 20-17, but Hofstra was able to close out the set, 25-21, and the match.
Elon continues conference play on Sunday, Sept. 28, when it hosts Northeastern in Alumni Gym at 2 p.m.