ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball senior captain Sydney Busa surpassed the 1,000-career kill mark on Saturday, Sept. 9, during Elon’s pair of victories over North Carolina Central and Norfolk State to win the 2017 Phoenix Classic.
Elon’s day started with a 3-1 (25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-14) victory over North Carolina Central and finished with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-20) sweep of Norfolk State to improve to 8-3 on the season. Elon has now won five matches in a row dating back to Sept. 2.
MATCH 1: Elon 3, NC Central 1 (25-14, 25-23, 20-25, 25-14)
Elon opened the afternoon on a 9-3 run that forced NC Central to burn a timeout. Though NC Central settled in after the tough start, Elon continued to dominate the set behind seven kills from Busa, pulling her within five after the opening set the Phoenix won 25-14.
The second set started with the two teams going back and forth, but the Eagles took an 8-6 lead before Elon went on a 5-0 run to go up 11-8. After an NCCU timeout, Elon extended its lead to four at 14-10 and kept NC Central at arm’s length until the Eagles pulled within two multiple times. Down the stretch, though, the Phoenix held the Eagles off to win the set 25-23.
After a tight third set the Eagles won 25-20, Elon responded in a big way by closing out the match with a 25-14 set win. The Phoenix methodically pulled away throughout the set, leading by as many as 10 at 21-11 on the way to the win.
Busa led the Phoenix with 21 kills. She also added 16 digs and two blocks in her milestone match. Kam Terryalso had 20 kills and 14 digs. She finished with a .370 hitting percentage. Kodi Garcia had 46 assists (11.5 per set) and Alexa Pavlick led Elon with a .455 hitting percentage. She had six kills on 11 attempts.
MATCH 2: Elon 3, Norfolk State 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-20)
Elon continued its solid play to start the second match against Norfolk State. The Phoenix opened the night with a 10-6 lead, but after Norfolk State cut it to three at 11-8 the Phoenix went on a 9-1 run to take complete control of the set at 18-8. To finish the set, the two teams traded points but the damage had been done with the Phoenix winning 25-14.
The Phoenix continued the run of stellar play in the second set, though it was a slow start before Elon went on a 6-1 run to make it 10-7. The Spartans then went on a 3-0 run to tie the set at 10-all, but Elon answered with a 5-1 run to lead 15-11 and never looked back from there. In the end after the 10-10 tie, Elon outscored NSU 15-3 to close the set and take a 2-0 lead.
Though the third set proved tighter than the first two, Elon again used a mid-set run to take a six-point lead on the way to the sweep. The Phoenix opened the set on a 6-1 run before Norfolk State answered with a 5-0 run of its own to tie it at 6-all forcing an Elon timeout. On the other side of the timeout, the Phoenix went on a 9-2 run to lead 15-8 and held the big advantage until it was 21-14. Norfolk State did win six of the last 10 points, but Elon’s lead was too large for the Spartans to overcome in the end.
Busa again led the Phoenix with 17 kills and 10 digs. Nori Thomas also had a stellar match with eight kills and no errors, finishing with a .571 hitting percentage to go with two blocks. Courtney Carpenter also had six kills without any errors, finishing with a .750 hitting percentage. As a team, Elon finished with 40 kills and only 16 errors. It also had seven aces.
Kam Terry, Elon
Sydney Busa, Elon
Kodi Garcia, Elon
Hannah Western, Charleston Southern
Kalysia Bates, Charleston Southern
Hope Forsythe, Norfolk State
Da’Nesha Miller, NC Central
Tournament MVP: Kam Terry, Elon
With a week off in front of it, Elon will return to the court Friday night, Sept. 15, when Navy visits Alumni Gym at 7 p.m. The match is the first of three for the Phoenix in the Tussle in the Triad tournament. To finish the weekend, Elon will play UNCG on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. before going to High Point later that day for a 7 p.m. match.