ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball posted a .305 hitting percentage on Thursday night, Sept. 28, in Alumni Gym in a 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20) victory over William & Mary in CAA play.
“I liked our energy level from the start of the match,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “It was great to see so many players involved in the offense. Kodi Garcia did a very good job of putting hitters in position to score. We look forward to getting some much-needed rest this weekend before we hit the road next week.”
Elon’s .305 hitting percentage is the highest in a four-set match this season. Helping the final number was Garcia’s stellar 60-assist evening, the most in a match since Sydel Curry posted 62 in a five-set match at Delaware on Oct. 2, 2016. Garcia’s 60 assists in four sets marks the first time since the Nov. 12, 2005, that Elon has had a setter post 60 or more assists in a four-set match. That night, Natalie Moore posted 61 against Western Carolina.
The Phoenix improved to 12-6 on the year and evened its record in CAA play at 2-2. William & Mary fell to 2-15 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
Elon and William & Mary battled back and forth throughout the first set with neither team winning more than two points in a row until Elon won four in a row to turn a 15-13 deficit into a 17-15 lead. The Tribe came back within one at 17-16 after a kill by Taylor Heishman, but the Phoenix took control of the set with an 8-2 run from there to take the first set 25-18.
The Phoenix opened the second set by doubling the Tribe early at 6-3, forcing a William & Mary timeout. Out of the break, the set mirrored the up and down first set with neither side taking more than two points in a row before the Tribe won three straight to tie the set at 13-all. After the 13-13 tie, Elon took five of the next seven points to lead 18-15. Though the Tribe came back within one point three times down the stretch, Elon never relinquished the lead on the way to a 25-22 set victory that saw Nori Thomas post seven kills in the set.
Looking to complete the sweep, Elon jumped out to a 9-5 advantage and continued to lead at 16-12 before the Tribe went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-16 lead. Again, the two teams went back and forth until William & Mary broke a 21-all tie with a 3-0 run to earn set point. Though the Phoenix fought off two set points with a Sydney Busa kill and a Tribe attacking error, a Phoenix attack error gave William & Mary the 25-23 win.
In the fourth set, the Phoenix again jumped out to a bit of a lead at 7-4 before William & Mary brought it back within one at 10-9 by winning five of the next eight points. From there, Elon won each of the next four points to lead 15-10 and kept William & Mary at a distance throughout the rest of the set, holding on for a 25-20 win to clinch the match.
Kam Terry tied Busa for the CAA lead in double-doubles with 19 kills and 10 digs in the match. Both players have 11 double-doubles to date. Busa finished the night with 22 kills and nine digs, missing a double-double by one dig for the second consecutive match. Garcia also missed a double-double by one dig, finishing with nine to go with her 60 assists. Thomas set a new career high with 13 kills on the night. Courtney Carpenter also added 11 kills and had a team-best .500 hitting percentage with 11 kills and just two errors on 18 attempts. Maddie Jaudon added 16 digs in the match.
Sydney Biniak paced William & Mary with 15 kills, posting a .462 hitting percentage with just three errors on 26 attempts. Heather Pippus also added 13 kills, six digs and three blocks. Kate Dedrick added 12 kills. Katie Kemp posted a 34-assist, 13-dig double-double and Julia Brown added three blocks.
-Garcia’s 60-assist night is the second-most assists in a match since October 2007. It trails only Curry’s 62-assist night last season at Delaware.
-Busa’s 22 kills gives her 1,133 in her career, which is 10 short of a tie for eighth place on the program’s all-time list with Juliena Gigon ’07.
-Jaudon surpassed Maria LaButto ’04 for career digs and now stands alone in seventh place on Elon’s all-time list with 1,204 in her career. Next up is Cheryl Spivey’s sixth-place 1,264.
-Terry surpassed 800 kills in the match and now has 803 in her career. She is also now just one block away from 100 for her career.
-Elon’s 68 kills represent the most in a match to date this season.
The Phoenix will step out of Colonial Athletic Association play on Tuesday, Oct. 3, when it travels to Durham, N.C., to close non-conference play against North Carolina Central. In the Phoenix Classic earlier in the month of September, Elon defeated NC Central 3-1.