ELON, N.C. – Though winning the first set, Elon University volleyball dropped a 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-14) match inside Alumni Gym on Friday night, Oct. 13, to College of Charleston.
“We had a great start to the match with a very balanced offense,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We loved the number of kills we were able to get from Elizabeth Coil and Courtney Carpenter in the middle. As the match went along, though, we became too predictable, which isn’t going to work well against a strong defensive team like College of Charleston.”
The loss, Elon’s third in a row, drops the Phoenix to 13-9 overall and 2-5 in the CAA. The Cougars moved to 17-4 overall with their fifth-straight win. Charleston also kept pace at the top of the CAA standings, improving to 6-1 in conference play.
The Phoenix opened the match with 20 kills in the opening set while only making six errors for a .304 hitting percentage. It was paced by six kills from Coil alone. Elon opened the match winning three of the first four points to take a two-point advantage. That was the largest lead of the set until Elon used a 6-1 run to break a 9-9 tie and take a 15-10 lead. Charleston stuck around and cut the lead down to one at 19-18, but Elon won five of the ensuing six points out of a timeout on the way to a 25-22 set win.
College of Charleston answered in the second set by starting on a 12-4 run, which included a 3-0 run to open the set and a 4-0 run to make it 12-4. A kill by Kam Terry and two attack errors allowed Elon to string multiple points together to cut the lead to five at 12-7, but the Cougars answered with a 5-0 run to take a 17-7 lead and won four of the last five points of the set to take it 25-14.
Charleston matched its offensive production in the third set by jumping out to a 12-4 lead on a 3-0 run to open the set and a 4-0 run that made it 9-3 after Elon had cut the deficit to two at 5-3. The Phoenix slowly forced its way back into the set, coming within four at 18-14 with a Terry ace and 19-15 with a Sydney Busa kill, but Charleston then won three points in a row to lead 22-15 and held on for the 25-19 win.
In the fourth, Elon held the Cougars within striking distance in never going down more than three points on multiple occasions throughout the early stages of the set. The Phoenix ultimately crept within two at 13-11, but Charleston rattled off an 8-0 run to take the two-point lead to a 10-point lead at 21-11 on the way to the 25-14 win.
Coil set a new career high with 11 kills in the match. She posted a career-best .733 hitting percentage with 11 kills and zero errors on 15 attempts. She also led Elon with four blocks in the match. Terry added a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs with two blocks and two aces. Busa finished with nine kills, 14 digs and two blocks while Carpenter added eight kills, three blocks and two digs. Kodi Garcia posted 40 assists while Maddie Jaudon added 18 digs.
Devon Rachel led all players with 19 kills. She also posted five digs and three blocks. Kennedy Madison finished her night with 15 kills, five digs and four blocks with a .480 hitting percentage. Four players had double-digit digs with McKala Rhodes leading the way with 22. Logan Manusky also posted 13 digs, Riana Brennan 11 and Allison Beckman 10.
-The loss is Elon’s second of the year after winning the first set. The other came on Sept. 1 when the Phoenix took the first set from Furman before losing the ensuing three.
-Busa now stands just 12 digs away from 1,000 in her career. In reaching 1,000 digs, she would become the fourth player in program history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.
-On the all-time kill list, Busa is now 10 away from tying Megan Crooks for sixth-most. Busa has 1,193 in her career and Crooks had 1,203 from 1991-94.
-Jaudon now has1,256 digs in her time in maroon and gold. She is just eight behind Cheryl Spivey for the sixth-most in program history.
-Terry surpassed 500 digs in her career with 14 in the match. She now has 508 in her career.
The Phoenix will host its annual Pink match on Sunday, Oct. 15, when it hosts UNCW at 2 p.m. in Alumni Gym. UNCW fell 3-1 on the road against William & Mary Friday night, a team Elon defeated 3-1 in Alumni Gym back on Sept. 28.