ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball went on a 35-8 run over the course of the opening two sets to take command of a 3-0 (25-17, 25-7, 25-18) sweep of North Carolina A&T on Tuesday night, Aug. 29, inside Alumni Gym.
“We had very good production from everyone on the team tonight,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Everyone that had the opportunity to play made a positive impact. That will help us a lot as we compete in our next tournament at Liberty this weekend.”
Elon improves to 3-1 on the season through four matches while North Carolina A&T drops to 2-2 on the year. The Phoenix has now won 11 consecutive matches over N.C. A&T dating back to the 2007 season. It has not lost a set to the Aggies in eight straight meetings.
A very competitive first set saw the score go back and forth throughout the opening 31 points. Elon opened up an 8-4 lead in the early going thanks to a 5-1 run, but the Aggies responded with a 6-1 run of their own to take a 10-9 lead. After N.C. A&T earned a 16-15 lead in the set, Elon took control both the set and ultimately the match with a 10-1 run to close the set with a 25-17 win.
In the second set, Elon used momentum to the set-ending run to dominate from the start. The Phoenix jumped out to a 4-0 lead early to force an Aggie timeout. Out of the break, the two teams traded the next six points before Elon went on another lengthy 11-1 run to lead the set 18-4. It didn’t let off the gas pedal down the stretch in taking the second set 25-7, finishing its 35-8 run at the conclusion of the second set after starting it trailing 16-15 in the opening set.
Similar to the second set, Elon tried to power its way past the Aggies early on in building an 11-6 lead, but North Carolina A&T battled back to cut the lead down to three on multiple occasions. But the Phoenix flexed its muscles and pulled away late to earn the 25-18 win in the third to sweep the match.
Courtney Carpenter led Elon with 10 kills on the night, hitting a stellar 69.2 percent. She was the only player in the match to reach double-digit kills. Kodi Garcia finished with 32 assists (10.7 per set), six digs and a match high four aces. Three of those aces came in a span of four points in the second set. Sydney Busa and Kam Terry each finished with nine kills while Busa added six digs and Terry four, Terry hit 44.4 percent with nine kills and just one error in 18 attempts. Maddie Jaudon finished with a match-high nine digs to go with three assists and two aces.
Christa Wilson led the Aggies with seven kills. Samara Brown, Edie Brewer and Courtney Pitt each tallied three kills. Brewer also added nine assists and seven digs while Milanna Morgan had six digs.
For the match, Elon hit 35.4 percent with 40 kills to just 11 errors while N.C. A&T hit 2.5 percent with 20 kills and 18 errors. The Phoenix had six aces in the match to the Aggies’ one and the Phoenix doubled up its opponent with 40 kills to N.C. A&T’s 20.
– Multiple first-year student-athletes had collegiate firsts Tuesday. Julia Crabtree entered in the second set and immediately had her first three collegiate kills. Madi Genaway entered in the third set and recorded the first two kills of her career down the stretch. Natalie Cummins made her debut on opening weekend, but recorded her first two kills Tuesday night.
– Elon’s 35.4 hitting percentage is the highest mark of the young season.
– North Carolina A&T’s 2.5 hitting percentage is the lowest by a Phoenix opponent since Savannah State was minus 6.3 percent on Sept. 16, 2016.
– Elon is 3-1 to open the season for the second year in a row. In 2016, it lost its season opener to Charlotte before rattling off three wins in a row.
Back on the road for the second tournament of the season, Elon will head to Lynchburg, Va., for a three-match tournament hosted by Liberty. There, the Phoenix will take on Furman on Friday, Sept. 1, at 4:30 p.m. before playing Maryland and Liberty on Saturday, Sept. 2. First serve against the Terrapins is set for 10 a.m. with the match against the Flames slated for 7 p.m. on ESPN3.