ELON, N.C. – After four-matches in Indiana over the weekend, the Elon volleyball team (3-9) returns home to Alumni Gym to host local and former Southern Conference rival UNCG (9-2) on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon closed out the Popcorn Classic in Valparaiso, Ind., with a sweep of Savannah State. The Phoenix tallied a season-high eight service aces in the match, including three by Sydney Busa. On defense, the maroon and gold out-blocked the Tigers, 9.5-4, with the help of a career-high seven blocks from Michelle Klein. At the end of the tournament, Busa was named to the Popcorn Classic All-Tournament Team.
Scouting the Spartans
UNCG has won its last six matches, including a 3-0 performance in the Spartan-Aggie Invitational last weekend to move to 9-2 on the season. Outside hitter Ashley Muench is averaging 3.66 kills per set with 139 kills this year, while setters Allison Penner and Sara Hohman are both averaging over 10 assists/set. The Spartans are currently ranked 26th nationally in team digs per set (16.83) and opponent hitting percentage (.138).
Elon vs. UNCG
Wednesday marks the 52nd all-time meeting between the Phoenix and the Spartans with UNCG leading 35-17. The last Elon victory came on Nov. 8, 2012, in a 3-1 win in Greensboro, N.C. The Spartans have won the last three straight, including last year’s match in Greensboro.
Nearing 1,000 Kills
Outside hitter Megan Gravley is close to reaching the career milestone of 1,000 kills. The Apex, N.C., native has recorded 994 kills so far in her career and is averaging 3.14 kills per set. The last Elon player to reach 1,000 kills was Caroline Lemke who finished her career in 2011 with 1,279 kills.
The Elon defense has been impressive at the net so far this season and is out-blocking opponents 108.5-72. The Phoenix has out-blocked the other team in eight of its 12 matches this year and is averaging 2.52 blocks per set. The maroon and gold block has been led by Catherine Head and Ally Karle. Both Karle and Head have career-high 10 block matches in 2015 and are averaging 1.13 and 1.11 blocks/set, respectively. Elon ranks sixth nationally and leads the conference in total blocks, while Head is 39th in the nation individually.
Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 13th season with the Phoenix program. She enters Wednesday’s match with a 194-210 Elon and career coaching record.
The Phoenix has a break from play this weekend and returns to the court on Friday, Sept. 25, to open Colonial Athletic Association play at Northeastern in Boston in a 7 p.m. match.