HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – After taking the early lead and then keeping the match alive to send it to five sets, the Elon volleyball team was not able to knock off defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Hofstra, falling 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 25-19, 9-15), today, Sept. 27, in the Mack Physical Education Center.
The Phoenix (3-12, 0-2) defense tallied a season-high 20 blocks with the help of a career-high 11 blocks from Ally Karle, which ranks second on Elon’s Division I individual match record list. Ebony Scott posted a career-high eight blocks, while Catherine Head finished with seven.
Megan Gravley recorded a team-high 16 kills and 11 digs for her third double-double of the season followed by another 11 kills from Scott, which tied her career high. Kayla Agae posted a career-high 31 assists and fell just short of a double-double with nine digs.
“This team put themselves in a position to win both matches this weekend, so it was frustrating for us to come home 0-2,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Our blocking continues to be a strength for us and it was good to see the players stay aggressive throughout the match. We look forward to our first home CAA matches in Alumni Gym next weekend.”
The Pride (11-6, 2-0) saw a match-high 21 kills from Veronika Kostova, while Nanishka Perez tallied a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs. Hannah Klemm finished with an impressive 55 assists and 14 digs for another double for Hofstra.
How it happened: Kills by Scott, an ace from Sydney Busa and a block by Gravley and Karle helped Elon jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first set. The Pride responded to take its first advantage, 12-11. With the set even at 17-all, two blocks by Karle and Scott, a Karle solo block and back-to-back Busa aces helped the Phoenix to a 5-0 run. Elon held the edge to go on to a 25-22 win.
With the second set tied at 16-all, the Pride managed to score eight straight to claim set point, 24-16. A block from Scott and Michelle Klein held Hofstra briefly before the Pride evened the match with a 25-17 set victory.
The third set remained tight in the beginning with the score reaching 15-all. From there, Hofstra went on a 7-1 run to move ahead, 23-16. The Pride went on to take two of the final three points for a 25-17 win in the set and move ahead in the match, 2-1.
With the maroon and gold leading by one in the fourth set, 18-17, kills by Kam Terry and Agae helped the Phoenix to four straight to move ahead by five, 22-17. A kill and solo block by Karle gave Elon set point as a Busa kill closed out the win, 25-19, to keep the match alive and send it to a deciding fifth set.
Hofstra came out strong in the fifth set, claiming a 6-0 lead before the Phoenix rallied with kills by Scott and Gravley and a block by Scott and Karle to close the gap to two, 7-5. Blocks by Head, Klein and Gravley kept Elon within two, 10-8, but the Pride closed out the set, 15-9, to take the match.
Notes: Elon’s 20 blocks in the match was the most by the Phoenix in at least 10 years…The maroon and gold out-blocked the Pride 20-7…The match marked the ninth time this season Elon has out-blocked its opponent…Hofstra holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series…Karle’s 11 blocks was the most by an Elon player since 2006.
Up next: Elon returns home to host its first CAA matches of the season, beginning with a tilt against James Madison on Friday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.