ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team continues a four-match road swing when it takes its annual trip to the Northeast this weekend. The Phoenix takes on Northeastern in Boston on Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. before finishing out the trip at Hofstra on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon played a pair of five-set matches last week, claiming a win at Delaware before falling in a heartbreaking fifth set, 23-21, at Towson. Sydney Busa had a big offensive week for the Phoenix, tallying 46 kills in two matches to average 4.60 kills per set and hit .349. She recorded double-doubles in both matches after a career-high 25 kills and 17 digs against the Blue Hens and another 21 kills and 17 digs against the Tigers. Sydel Curry posted a new career-high 62 assists at Delaware to help her average 10.8 assists per set on the week. On defense, Maddie Jaudon finished with 4.8 digs per set in the two matches, including a career-high 34 digs at UD, while Elizabeth Coil posted 10 total blocks for 1.0 blocks/set.
Scouting the Huskies
Northeastern holds a 13-5 current season record after two wins last week against William & Mary and James Madison to move to a 2-1 conference mark. The Huskies are first in the CAA in digs (17.05/set), second in aces (1.42/set) and third in kills (13.55/set), while also ranking 15th nationally in aces. Senior Caterina Rosander ranks second in the conference with a .369 hitting percentage followed by rookie Shaina White at .368. Jamie Bredahl leads the league in aces (0.46/set) to also rank 21st in the NCAA and eighth nationally with 30 total service aces on the season. Gabrielle Eyl is second in the CAA digs (5.28/set) and ranks 15th in the nation.
Elon vs. Northeastern
The Phoenix claimed its first victory over the Huskies in its last meeting on Nov. 15, 2015. Elon swept Northeastern in the regular-season finale in Alumni Gym last year but the Huskies still lead the series, 3-1.
Scouting the Pride
Two-time reigning regular-season champion and CAA preseason favorite Hofstra is 12-5 overall on the season and 2-2 in conference play. After opening its league schedule with losses at College of Charleston and UNCW, the Pride won back-to-back matches last week against JMU and William & Mary, including a sweep of the Dukes. Hofstra ranks second in the CAA in hitting percentage (.239), assists (13.26/set) and kills (13.91/set) as one of the top offensive teams in the conference. Laura Masciullo leads Hofstra with 200 kills this season, averaging 3.08 kills per set, while reigning CAA Offensive Player of the Week Michela Rucli owns a team and league-high .384 hitting percentage. Hanna Klemm averages 9.17 assists/set for the Pride, while Luisa Domingues records 4.29 digs per set.
Elon vs. Hofstra
While the Pride leads the all-times series against the maroon and gold, 4-0, each of the last two meetings have gone to five sets. Elon came back to win the fourth set in both matches last year to send it to a fifth set. In the last meeting in Hempstead, Ally Karle tallied a career-high 11 blocks to rank second on Elon’s Division I individual match record list as the Phoenix posted 20 total blocks.
The Best Since…
Elon’s 15-5 start to the season is the best mark since the team began the 2009 season 11-0 and then 15-2.
As of Oct. 3, the Phoenix is ranking high in several categories in the conference and in the nation. Nationally, Elon is seventh in total blocks, third in team kills, ninth in team digs and third in team assists, ranking first in the CAA in three of the first four categories. Individually, Sydel Curry is second in the league with 10.23 assists/set. Kayla Agae is second in the conference in aces (0.32/set), while Kam Terry is 51st in the nation and third in the league in total kills (230) and third in the CAA in kills per set (3.33). In the CAA, Maddie Jaudon is fifth in digs per set (4.59) and Michelle Klein is fourth in hitting with a .322 percentage.
Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 14th season with the Phoenix program. She enters this weekend with a 213-229 Elon and career coaching record. Tendler earned her 200th career victory on Aug. 30 with the maroon and gold’s win over North Carolina A&T.
Follow the Phoenix
Fans can follow the Phoenix throughout 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.
After four straight matches on the road, Elon returns home to Alumni Gym next weekend. The Phoenix hosts UNCW at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, before welcoming College of Charleston on Sunday, Oct. 16, in a 2 p.m. match.