ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (4-17) takes a break from Colonial Athletic Association competition to host in-state opponent North Carolina A&T (4-10) in its annual Pink Match on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon picked up its first CAA win of the season in the form of a 3-1 final at William & Mary. The Phoenix hit a season-high .320 with the help of a 46 assists from Sydel Curry, who matched her career-high. Ally Karle tallied 13 kills off 23 attempts and had only one error to hit .522 in the match. On defense, the Phoenix out-blocked the Tribe, 9-4, with the help of five blocks each from Catherine Head and Curry.
Scouting the Aggies
A&T plays its first match in a week against the Phoenix after falling 3-1 to Davidson on Oct. 13. The Aggies own a 4-10 record on the season and sit at 2-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play. Outside hitter Brooke Stamnes leads the team with 154 kills on the season and is averaging 3.03 kills per set followed by 2.51 kills/set from Samara Brown, while Kayla Ginerty averages 7.62 assists/set. Aggie libero Ashley Johnson just recently became A&T’s all-time leader in digs and has 1,462 in her career.
Elon and N.C. A&T have played one another since 1978. The Phoenix owns the advantage in the all-time series, 27-9, and has won the last eight meetings, dating back to 2007. The last five matches have all finished in a sweep for the maroon and gold.
Tuesday marks Elon’s annual Pink Match for breast cancer awareness. All fans are encouraged to wear pink and the team will recognize several breast cancer survivors prior to the match. Elon volleyball is proud to support and be a part of the effort to find a cure for the disease.
Aggie head coach Hal Clifton was an assistant coach at Elon under Mary Tendler for six seasons from 2005-2011 before taking over the A&T program. He was one of the coaches of the Phoenix team that won the program’s first Southern Conference North Division title in 2010.
The Elon defense has been impressive at the net so far this season and is out-blocking opponents 184.5-130.5. The Phoenix has out-blocked the other team in 14 of its 21 matches this year and is averaging 2.4 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 36th nationally (third in the conference) in total blocks and 64th (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 Tuesday’s match with a 195-218 Elon and career coaching record.
With each match preview, elonphoenix.com will present at One-on-One feature with a member of the volleyball team. This week’s One-on-One is with junior Ebony Scott.
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.
Elon travels for two conference matches this weekend to take on Towson on Friday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in Towson, Md., before facing league-leader James Madison on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Harrisonburg, Va.