ELON, N.C. – Battling in its second five-set match in the past two games, the Elon University volleyball team emerged on the winning side as the Phoenix earned a 3-2 (24-26, 29-27, 25-20, 19-25, 15-8) victory over Northeastern on Sunday, Nov. 13, to close out the regular-season and Senior Day for its four-member senior class at Alumni Gym.
Each of the four seniors – Kayla Agae, Ally Karle, Morgan Maner and Ebony Scott – started for Elon (18-15, 4-12 Colonial Athletic Association) and contributed heavily in the Phoenix’s win over the Huskies (20-10, 10-6 CAA). Both Agae and Maner had 11 digs for the Phoenix while Scott had 11 kills on the offensive end. Karle had a game-high seven blocks in the match for Elon.
Michelle Klein had a game-high 15 kills on the afternoon for the Phoenix while Sydney Busa had her second straight double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs. Sydel Curry added 56 assists for Elon while Maddie Jaudon led the maroon and gold with 16 digs.
Northeastern’s Carmen Costa had 13 kills for the Huskies with two others, Jamie Bredahl and Natalie Shollin adding 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Kristen Walding had 43 assists for NU while Gabrielle Eyl had a game-high 24 digs at libero.
In the first set, Elon took a 14-11 lead over the Huskies which forced Northeastern to a timeout. The lead increased to 15-11 after a Jaudon service ace after the break with Elon eventually up 20-14 on a ball handling error on NU’s Walding. Northeastern called another timeout and proceeded to go on a 6-0 run to tie the match at 20-20. A pair of kills by Curry and Busa put Elon back in from 22-20 as the Phoenix was a point away from taking the opening set after a kill by Scott made the score 24-22. The Huskies rallied with four answered points to overtake their deficit and the opening set, 26-24.
The Phoenix found itself down early in the second set, 7-3, after a Northeastern service ace that forced Elon to a timeout. An 8-5 run by the maroon and gold behind four kills from Kam Terry brought Elon within one, 12-11, but NU slowly pulled away again to a 19-15 lead that forced the Phoenix to its second and final timeout. A 5-2 run by the Phoenix brought itself within one once again at 21-20 on a Busa kill before Elon eventually took the lead at 23-22. The set would have five more ties after that point before a kill by Terry gave Elon the lead for good at 28-27 with the Phoenix earning the eventual 29-27 win.
Elon was in more control in the third set, never relinquishing the lead after breaking a 5-5 tie after another ball handling error on Walding. Klein put the Phoenix ahead 12-8 on a kill to force a Huskies’ timeout, but Elon continued to to increase its advantage to six, 17-11, after a Northeastern miscue. A short 3-0 run by NU narrowed its deficit to three, 17-14, as Elon called a timeout. The Huskies brought the deficit down to two on two separate occasions, including at 20-18 on a Shaina White kill. Elon answered with a 5-2 run of its own behind three kills by Scott to take the 2-1 advantage and a 25-20 game three victory.
Northeastern however knotted the match in the fourth set. The Huskies took the lead for good in the set on a kill by Costa and a service ace leading to an Elon timeout down 11-9. A Klein kill and a service ace of its own tied the match at 13-13 for the Phoenix, but a 4-0 run put the Huskies back in control with a 17-13 advantage and another Elon timeout. The Phoenix got it as close as 22-18 after a Terry kill, but NU closed out the set on a 3-1 run to force the match to a fifth and deciding set on its game four 25-19 win.
After falling behind early 1-0, the Phoenix sparked a 5-0 run led by two of its seniors, Agae and Karle. Agae had the first two kills of the set for the Phoenix while Karle added the next one for Elon. After Karle and Terry contributed on a block to make the score 5-1, Northeastern called a timeout. The Huskies responded to bring them to a one-score deficit, 6-5, but Elon responded with four unanswered to go up 10-5 after a pair of kills by Scott and Karle. That led to NU calling its final timeout as the Huskies regrouped to bring the score to 10-7, but Karle sparked a 4-1 run that led to the Phoenix earning the 15-8 set five win and the 3-2 overall victory.