BOSTON – Elon University volleyball battled back from multiple deficits Sunday afternoon, Oct. 8, but ultimately dropped a tough 3-2 (25-20, 20-25, 25-13, 19-25, 15-12) contest inside the Cabot Center to Northeastern.
“That was a really great volleyball match,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Both teams played hard and the momentum kept shifting back and forth. Unfortunately for us, Northeastern had the last push. We served really tough in this one and I liked the swings Sydney Busa and Kam Terrywere taking. We look forward to being back at home next weekend.”
The loss, Elon’s first in a match that went five sets this season, puts the Phoenix at 13-8 on the year and 2-4 in CAA play. Northeastern remained unbeaten in conference action, now at 7-0 and 14-6 overall.
Northeastern took six of the opening eight points to set the tone in the opening set. From there, it kept Elon at arm’s length throughout the first frame, going up by as many as seven at 13-6 before Elon used a 4-0 run with three kills by Terry to come within three at 13-10. That was as close as Elon would come, though, never able to pull within more than four with Northeastern taking the set 25-20.
The Huskies tried to match their first-set start in the second by winning three of the first four points, but Elon fought back to take a 6-5 lead and the two teams traded points until Northeastern had a 12-11 lead. From there, Elon rattled off each of the next three points to lead 14-12 and after another Husky point, the Phoenix won five in a row to lead 19-13. Though the Huskies came within four on multiple occasions, Elon held on for the 25-20 win. The Phoenix posted a .379 hitting percentage with 15 kills to just four errors.
Out of the locker room, Northeastern took control of the third set from the start with a 10-5 lead that it eventually extended to 10 at 20-10 on the way to a 25-13 win to take a 2-1 lead. The Huskies then won the opening five points of the fourth set and owned a 12-6 advantage before the Phoenix closed the margin with a 6-1 run to trail 13-12. After Northeastern earned three of the next five points to lead 16-14, Elon used a 4-0 run to go up 18-16 to force a Husky timeout. Out of the break, Northeastern won two points to tie the set, but Elon took seven of the next eight points to put the set away at 25-19.
In the decisive fifth set, the two teams split the first eight points, but Northeastern won six of the next seven points to go up 10-5 before a Terry kill ended the run. From there, Kodi Garcia served Elon on a 6-0 run to take an 11-10 lead to force a Northeastern timeout. But on the other side of the break, the Huskies won each of the next four points and ultimately five of the last six to claim a 15-12 set to win the match.
Busa posted a match-high 24 kills to go with 15 digs, posting her 13th double-double of the season. Terry also added 16 kills and seven digs. Garcia posted 39 assists and 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the year and Maddie Jaudon added 14 digs. Courtney Carpenter tied her season best of eight blocks for the third time this year.
Amy Underdown paced Northeastern with 18 kills and 12 digs for the double-double. Brigitte Burcescu also posted 15 kills and Athena Ardila added 13 kills. Samantha Shupe and Kristen Walding each finished with 23 assists apiece and Gabrielle Eyl had a match-high 21 digs.
-With 24 kills, Busa passed Laura Griffin for the seventh-most assists in program history and now stands at 1,184 for her career.
-Jaudon’s career dig total improved to 1,238. She is now just 26 behind Cheryl Spivey for sixth-most in program history.
-Busa’s 15 digs Sunday afternoon put her at 976 for her career. Should she reach 1,000 digs, Busa would become the fourth player in program history to post 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
-Each of Elon’s last three matchups against the Huskies have gone three sets. All three of those matches have been won by the home team.
The Phoenix will return home for a 7 p.m. match Friday, Oct. 13, when it hosts College of Charleston in Alumni Gym. It will follow with a Sunday afternoon match at 2 p.m. against UNCW in Alumni Gym, which will close the first half of the CAA volleyball slate.