Elon Volleyball Phoenix Hosts Three Matches in Four-Day Span Beginning Thursday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball continues its five-match home stand with three matches in Alumni Gym in the span of four days this week. The Phoenix (3-14, 0-4) hosts College of Charleston (8-8, 0-2) on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. before weekend matches against Delaware (8-9, 0-4) on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 11, against UNCW (12-4, 3-1) at 2 p.m.

A Look at the Phoenix
Facing a potential sweep in the third set of its last match, the Phoenix rallied to win the third and keep the match alive, but was unable to pull out a win against Towson, falling 3-1. Elon saw Sydney Busa tally her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 12 kills and 14 digs, Ally Karle hit .471 with another 12 kills and Sydel Curry record a match-high 34 assists. Curry averaged 9.14 assists per set last week, while Karle posted a .406 hitting percentage and averaged 1.17 blocks per set.

Scouting the Cougars
CofC, the reigning CAA regular season champions, is 9-8 on the season and 1-2 in conference play after a 3-2 win over Delaware on Tuesday afternoon. Middle blocker Maddie Hills is third in the league in hitting percentage with a .327 mark, while outside hitter Melissa Morello ranks third in kills with 3.71 per set and has tallied 10 double-doubles on the season.

Series History
While Elon has only been in the CAA for two seasons, the Phoenix and the Cougars have a long series history from their time in the Southern Conference. Thursday is the 24th all-time meeting with CofC holding a 21-2 advantage. The last time the maroon and gold claimed a victory was on Oct. 15, 2006, in Charleston, S.C.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is still in search of its first conference win of the season after falling in five to College of Charleston on Tuesday afternoon. UD libero Ariel Shonk leads the conference in digs per set with 5.32 and has earned defensive player of the week honors already this year. Autumn Jenkins and Katie Hillman, a preseason All-CAA selection, both lead the team with 2.66 kills per set.

Series History
Elon and Delaware have only met twice previously with both matches coming last season. The Blue Hens claimed a 3-0 win in each meeting.

Scouting the Seahawks
UNCW is currently 3-1 in conference play after a sweep of Delaware on Monday in its last match. The Seahawks led the conference and rank fifth nationally in opponent hitting percentage, holding opponents to a .131 mark. On defense, the team is fourth in the nation, as well as first in the CAA, in blocks per set with 3.10/set. Three Seahawks have earned four conference weekly honors this season with Anna Moss earning the most recent as defensive player of the week on Sept. 28. Moss leads the CAA and is eighth in the nation in blocks per set with 1.52, while CAA Preseason Player of the Year Meredith Peacock is second in the conference with 1.34/set.

Series History
The series between Elon and UNCW dates back to 1976 with Sunday marking the 30th meeting. The Seahawks hold the slight edge in the series, 16-13, with victories in the last four matches. Elon’s last win came in a tournament in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 28, 2009.

Block Party
The Elon defense has been impressive at the net so far this season and is out-blocking opponents 154.5-106. The Phoenix has out-blocked the other team in 11 of its 17 matches this year and is averaging 2.5 blocks per set. The maroon and gold block has been led by Catherine Head and Ally Karle, who have each recorded career highs this season. Karle posted 11 blocks at Hofstra, which was the most by an Elon player since 2006, and ranks second on the program’s Division I single-match records list. Elon ranks 38th nationally (third in the conference) in total blocks and 53rd (second in CAA) in blocks per set.

Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 13th season with the Phoenix program. She enters this week’s matches with a 194-215 Elon and career coaching record.

Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix this weekend and through the season with updates on elonphoenix.com. Live stats for every volleyball match will be available on the team’s schedule and home pages on the Elon athletic website. In-game updates will also be provided on Twitter at @elonscores. The match against College of Charleston on Thursday on will be streamed on Phoenix All-Access.

Looking Ahead
The Phoenix plays one game next week in a trip to Williamsburg, Va., to take on William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.