ELON, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team closes out the month of October at home in Alumni Gym this weekend with a pair of matches, including its annual Pink Match. The Phoenix (16-10, 3-7) faces Towson (19-7, 6-5) on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. before taking on Delaware (10-13, 4-7) in its Pink Match on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match against the Blue Hens.
A Look at the Phoenix
Elon snapped a five-match losing streak in impressive fashion with a sweep at William & Mary on Monday night. The Phoenix saw strong offensive performances from both Sydney Busa and Sydel Curry. Busa tallied her eighth double-double of the season after 18 kills (6.0/set) and 10 digs, while Curry posted her fourth straight and 11th double-double of the year with 42 assists (14.0/set) and 11 digs as she helped the maroon and gold hit .230. On defense, Kayla Agae, who also had two aces, recorded a team-high 14 digs. Elon out-blocked W&M, 10-6, with the help of five blocks from both Ally Karle and Michelle Klein.
Scouting the Tigers
Towson is 19-7 on the season after a loss against Delaware on Wednesday night and is looking to get its first win in its last three matches. The Tigers lead the league and ranks in the top 30 in the nation in all of the top offensive categories – hitting percentage (.262), assists (13.38) and kills (14.18), as well as service aces (1.63). The Tigers’ offense is led by Jessica Lewis who is averaging 4.04 kills per set and owns a .292 hitting percentage. Candace Steadman is third in the CAA with a .342 hitting percentage, while Jocelyn Kuilan (.308), Lindsay Flaherty (.298) and Lewis follow to rank sixth through eighth. Marrisa Wonders averages 7.12 assists per set, while Anna Holehouse leads the team with 4.25 digs per set.
Elon vs. Towson
The Phoenix and the Tigers have met on the volleyball court seven times with Towson claiming the advantage, 6-1, in the series. Elon won the first meeting in 1998, 3-2, before the Tigers took the victory in the next match in 2004. The other five matches have come in the past three years since Elon became a member of the CAA with Towson winning all five meetings. The Tigers claimed the hard-fought match in the previous meeting this year on Oct. 3 with the fifth set going to a 23-21 final.
Scouting the Blue Hens
After starting the conference season 0-6, the Blue Hens have won four of its last five and two straight after a sweep of Towson on Wednesday. Autumn Jenkins posted a double-double against the Tigers after 16 kills and 13 digs and also hit .400. Jenkins leads UD with 2.61 kills per set, while Alexa Swann ranks ninth in the CAA with a .281 hitting percentage. Swann also ranks fourth in the league with 1.04 blocks per set as libero Taylor Hollingsworth is third in the conference with 4.93 digs per set.
Elon vs. Delaware
Elon and Delaware have only met five times previously with all matches coming in the last three years since the Phoenix joined the CAA. The Blue Hens won the first four matches before the maroon and gold claimed its first victory, 3-2, earlier this season on Oct. 1 to make it a 4-1 UD series lead.
The match on Sunday, Oct. 30, against Delaware marks Elon’s annual Pink Match to support breast cancer awareness. The team is partnering with the Alamance Regional Charitable Foundation to raise money for the Pink Ribbon Fund. The Pink Ribbon Fund allows women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer access to necessary resources and diagnostic procedures they may not otherwise be able to afford, including: biopsies, camisoles, diagnostic tests, wigs, mammograms, child care, breast prostheses, transportation , lymphedema sleeves, community education, outreach and the basic needs of life. To support the Pink Ribbon Fund, visit Elon volleyball’s fundraising link.
As of Oct. 25, the Phoenix is ranking high in several categories in the conference and in the nation. Nationally, Elon is 16th in total blocks, fifth in team kills, eighth in team digs and fifth in team assists, ranking first or second in the CAA in all four categories. Individually, Sydel Curry is second in the league with 10.22 assists/set. Kayla Agae is second in the conference in aces (0.35/set), while Kam Terry is third in the league in total kills (306) and fifth in kills per set (3.22). In the CAA, Maddie Jaudon is sixth in digs per set (4.39).
Head Coach Mary Tendler
Elon head coach Mary Tendler is in her 14th season with the Phoenix program. She enters this weekend with a 214-234 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.
Elon plays its final non-conference match of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 1, when it hosts North Carolina Central at 6 p.m. in Alumni Gym.