ELON, N.C. – After dropping the first set, the Elon volleyball team was able to even the match after the second but did not come out ahead in the end, falling to UNC Wilmington, 3-1 (17-25, 25-20, 19-25, 19-25), tonight, Oct. 11, in Alumni Gym. The Seahawks improve to 14-5 on the season and 4-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while the Phoenix falls to 5-16 (0-5 CAA).
“The team really fought hard tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We had a big lead in the second set and never let down and then we were down by quite a bit in the fourth set and kept fighting to the last point. That effort, along with some improvements throughout practice this week, will help us tremendously as we continue on this home stretch.”
Ally Karle led the Phoenix with 10 kills, while both Megan Gravley and Sydney Busa tallied eight kills. Catherine Head continued her strong presence on defense with five kills to help Elon to seven total team blocks.
With the first set tied at seven-all, kills by Gravley and Busa and a block by Head and Busa helped the Phoenix to four straight points for an 11-7 lead. The Seahawks rallied to even the score for the sixth time of the set, 14-all, and move ahead, 17-14. Kills by Busa and Gravley kept the maroon and gold within one but UNCW maintained the advantage and claimed the set, 25-17.
The Seahawks opened the second set with a 7-3 lead, forcing an early Elon timeout. Two kills by Karle, one by Busa and an ace by Head helped the Phoenix to an 8-3 run to take its first lead of the set, 11-10. Elon increased its edge to four, 17-13, after kills and a block by Kayla Agae and Head. A kill by Kris Harris would close out the set for a Phoenix victory, 25-20, and even the match at one set each.
The third set was tight with 10 ties and three lead changes by the time the score reached 15-all. UNCW moved ahead, 17-15, before a kill by Agae brought the Phoenix back within one. However, the Seahawks did not give up its lead and managed a 25-19 set win.
UNCW took the lead in the fourth set from the beginning. Kills by Karle and Head helped the Phoenix to within three, 10-7, but that was the closest Elon would cut the deficit. The Seahawks took another 25-19 win to claim the match victory.
Elon remains home in Alumni Gym for its next three matches, beginning with a contest against Towson on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m.