VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Elon volleyball team kept it close in the final set but was not able to prevail as Kennesaw State took a 3-0 (16-25, 20-25, 23-25) win over the Phoenix today, Sept. 12, in the Popcorn Classic.
The Phoenix (2-9) was led by Sydney Busa who had a match-high 13 kills off 23 attempts and only two errors to hit .478 and also tallied a match-high 10 digs for a double-double. Sydel Curry tallied 24 assists and fell just short of the double with nine digs.
The Elon block finished with nine total blocks, while KSU only claimed five, after a career-high six blocks from Michelle Klein. Busa also recorded four blocks on the morning, while Maddie Jaudon finished with 10 digs.
“I thought Kennesaw State did very well serving and passing this morning,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Their serve made it tough for us to get into any offensive rhythm. I liked our push at the end but we needed to be more consistent throughout the match.”
The Owls (7-1) saw 10 kills from Kelly Marcinek and a match-high 28 assists by Kristi Peidmonte.
How it happened: In the first set, a block by Ebony Scott and Catherine Head followed by kills from Busa, Scott and Megan Gravley helped keep Elon within two of Kennesaw State, 14-12. The Owls managed an 11-4 run to close out the set and take a 25-16 win.
Trailing by one, 10-9, in the second set, three kills by Busa and two by Scott helped the maroon and gold to five of the next six points to take a three-point edge, 14-11. KSU responded to even the score and take the eventual 25-20 advantage to lead the match 2-0.
A block by Klein and Kam Terry and a kill by Klein gave the Phoenix an 8-6 lead in the third set. With Elon holding a two-point advantage, KSU managed six straight to move ahead 13-9. The Owls had control of the set, 23-15, before blocks and kills that included Klein, Busa and Terry capped an 8-1 run for the maroon and gold to close the gap to one, 24-23. However, KSU claimed the final point to take the set, 25-23, and the match.
Notes: Busa’s double-double marked the third of the season for the sophomore…Gravley finished with five kills in the match and is eight shy of the 1,000-career kill mark…The all-time series between Kennesaw State and Elon is now even with one match each.
Up next: Elon closes out the Popcorn Classic against Savannah State this afternoon, Sept. 12, at 5:30 (EST) in the ARC.