DURHAM, N.C. – Elon University volleyball won a tight first set over North Carolina Central on Tuesday night, Oct. 3, in McDougald-McLendon Arena, then cruised through the second and third sets on the way to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-13) sweep of the Eagles to close non-conference play on a high note.
“We played a very consistent match against North Carolina Central,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We had a lot of players contributing and I liked the energy we created on the road. That will be valuable this weekend when we travel to play Hofstra and Northeastern.”
The win pushed Elon’s record to 13-6 overall while North Carolina Central fell to 0-13. The victory is Elon’s second of the season over the Eagles after beating NCCU 3-1 on Sept. 9 in Alumni Gym during the Phoenix Classic.
Elon and North Carolina Central opened the match by splitting the first 10 points before the Phoenix went on a 7-1 run to lead 16-11. The Eagles closed Elon’s gap with an 8-4 run of their own to force an Elon timeout at 20-19, but the Phoenix cruised with a 5-2 run out of the break to claim the first set 25-21. Sydney Busa posted seven kills while Nori Thomas had six and Kam Terry five. In all, Elon had 19 kills in the set and a .342 hitting percentage.
Elon held a slim lead in the early going of the second set at 9-7 before the Phoenix went on a long run to take a 24-10 lead behind a 15-3 run keyed by five kills and two aces by Busa. The Phoenix had a .407 hitting percentage in the second set with 15 kills to just four errors on 27 attempts while the Eagles had three kills and five errors on 23 attempts for a -.087 hitting percentage.
The Eagles opened the third set with a small 7-5 lead, but Elon answered nicely with a 6-0 run to take the two-point deficit to a four-point lead at 11-7 before NCCU could put another point on the board. After the Eagle point, though, the Phoenix continued its solid play and extended that run to 12-1 by taking a 17-8 lead, forcing a North Carolina Central timeout. Elon finished the match strong by continuing its dominance, closing out the set at 25-13 to sweep the match.
Busa finished her night with 20 kills and 11 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. She also added two aces and two blocks and had a .333 hitting percentage with just seven errors. Thomas finished with nine kills in the match with a .500 hitting percentage. Elizabeth Coil added three blocks to go with her two kills. In all, Elon had a .362 hitting percentage for the match with 47 kills and just 13 errors on 94 attempts, marking the best hitting percentage in a match this season for the Phoenix.
Whitney White led NCCU with six kills while Kierra Shipman had five. The Eagles struggled to find a rhythm with a .059 hitting percentage on the night with just 21 kills to 16 errors.
-Busa surpassed Juliena Gigon ’07 for eighth-most kills in a career during the match. Gigon had 1,143 in her career. Busa now has 1,153 kills in her career in maroon and gold.
-Maddie Jaudon pulled closer to surpassing Cheryl Spivey for sixth-most digs in a career. Spivey posted 1,264 in her career. Jaudon is up to 1,213.
-Kodi Garcia picked up right where she left off last week against William & Mary. The freshman averaged 15.0 per set against the Tribe and averaged 13.7 Tuesday against N.C. Central behind her 41-assist night. She now has 757 on the season, which is 238 behind Natalie Moore’s 995 in 2006 for 10th-most in a single season.
With 12 matches left on the regular season, Elon will play each against Colonial Athletic Association opponents. That run starts Friday, Oct. 6, with a 5 p.m. match at Hofstra and will be followed by a 1 p.m. match Sunday, Oct. 8, at Northeastern.