ELON, N.C. – The Elon University volleyball team overcame a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth and deciding game, but eventually fell in five sets to Hofstra, 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 25-21, 13-15) on Friday night, Nov. 11, inside Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix (17-15, 3-12 Colonial Athletic Association) had a double-double performance from Sydney Busa (game-high 14 kills, 12 digs) while Ebony Scott also contributed offensively with 11 kills. Sydel Curry had a game-high 38 assists with 10 digs for another double-double while Maddie Jaudon paced the Phoenix defensively with 20 digs.
The Pride improved to 20-9 overall on the season and 10-6 in league play. Laura Masciullo also had 14 kills to lead Hofstra offensively while Michela Rucli and Veronika Kostova both had 10 kills. Luisa Sydlik and Hannah Klemm had 25 and 22 assists for the Pride, respectively, while Sophia Black had a game-high 26 digs.
In the first set, both teams were knotted at 7-7 before the Pride scored four unanswered to take a 11-7 advantage. The lead increased by as much as six, 15-9, after a Hofstra kill, but Elon answered with a 4-0 run of its own to trim its deficit to 15-13. The Pride took a timeout and responded with a score to go back up by three, 16-13, but a pair of kills by Busa and a Hofstra attacking error tied the match at 16-16 for the Phoenix. Elon would eventually take the lead 19-17, after a pair of Hofstra miscues, but the Pride came back to tie the match at 20-all. Both teams went back-and-forth with the game knotted at 23-23, but a couple of errors on Hofstra gave Elon the 25-23 set win.
Hofstra jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the second set and kept the Phoenix out of reach for most of the set. A Scott kill brought the Phoenix to its closest deficit of six, 14-8, since the start of the set, but a 6-2 run by the Pride put them up 20-10 before cruising to the eventual 25-15 second set win.
The third set saw Hofstra come out to a big lead again at 10-6 before an Elon timeout. The Pride proceeded to go on 6-4 run to go ahead 16-10 that forced another Phoenix timeout. With the score at 19-11, Elon went on a 9-4 run to climb back within three, 23-20, after a Scott kill that led to a Hofstra timeout. The Pride regain the match and closed out the set with a 25-21 victory.
The Phoenix started the fourth set with a 7-4 lead, but Hofstra came back with a 7-1 run that gave the Pride the lead at 11-8. Elon scored the next four unanswered taking the lead at 12-11 after a Kam Terry kill. A kill from Michelle Klein gave the Phoenix the lead for good in the set at 17-15 with the Pride getting no closer than one, 19-18, on a Rucli kill. Three straight Hofstra errors put the Pride in a 23-19 hole as Elon held off the Pride to tie the game at two-all with a 25-21 game four win.
Elon found itself down 8-5 at the halfway point of the fifth and deciding set before going on a 5-0 run to take a 10-8 lead. That led to a Hofstra timeout, but Elon saw itself in front 12-10 after a kill by Curry. Hofstra came out to score the next three to take the lead at 13-12 before Ally Karle tied the game at 13-13 on a kill. However, a Hofstra kill and a Phoenix attack error claimed the match for the Pride, 15-13.
•Karle had five blocks in the match, moving into the top-five in program history in career blocks with 380.
• The match was played in front of 1,037 fans in Alumni Gym.
• Busa’s double-double was the 10th of the season for the Leesburg, Va., native.
The Phoenix closes out the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 13, versus Northeastern at 2 p.m. The match will also be Senior Day as the program will recognize its four seniors, Karle, Scott, Kayla Agae and Morgan Maner.