Elon Volleyball Phoenix Closes Out Popcorn Classic with Sweep of Savannah State

VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Elon volleyball team finished out its run in the Popcorn Classic with a sweep of Savannah State, 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-13), today, Sept. 12, on the campus of Valparaiso.

Sydney Busa led the Phoenix (3-9) with seven kills to go along with nine digs and three aces. Ally Karle added six kills followed by five from Kam Terry, while Sydel Curry finished with 25 assists.

A career-high seven blocks by Michelle Klein helped the Phoenix out-block the Tigers (0-11), 9.5-4. Busa added five blocks on the afternoon along with two each from Curry and Karle.

“Our middle attack was very effective tonight and so was our blocking,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “It was good to see a consistent level of play throughout the match.”

Savannah State saw seven kills and three blocks by Gabrielle Nathaniel, while Alexis Washington tallied nine digs.

How it happened: Two kills by Karle, one by Busa and an ace by Maddie Jaudon helped the Phoenix off to a 6-1 lead in the first set. Elon took as much as a 10-point advantage, 21-11, after a Terry kill and two aces in the span of three points by Busa. The Tigers held the maroon and gold at set point twice before the Phoenix moved on to a solid 25-15 win.

With Elon leading by two, 9-7, a triple block by Klein, Curry and Scott and a Klein kill helped the maroon and gold to four straight points for a 13-7 edge. SSU mistakes and kills from Scott, Busa and Terry kept the Phoenix in front as a Scott kill sealed a 25-20 second-set win.

Three blocks, all of which included Klein, put the Phoenix out in front by seven, 11-4, at the beginning of the third set. With the maroon and gold up by four, 13-9, a Megan Gravley kill, Curry ace and blocks by Karle, Busa and Gravley helped Elon to an 18-9 lead. The final point came off an ace by Erin Kelly to finish off the set, 25-13, and complete the match sweep.

Notes: The Phoenix tallied a season-high eight service aces in the match…This match marked the 12th of the season that Elon has out-blocked its opponent…Gravley finished with two kills to leave her just six shy of reaching the 1,000-career mark…Elon holds a 1-0 all-time series advantage over the Tigers.

Up next: The Phoenix returns home to Alumni Gym to host local rival and former Southern Conference opponent UNCG on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.