NEWARK, Del. – After splitting the first two sets of the match, Elon University volleyball dropped the final two sets Sunday afternoon, Oct. 22, in falling 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17) to Delaware inside the Bob Carpenter Center.
“We had some great individual performances today, but we didn’t execute with enough consistency to pull out a road win in the CAA,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “We have a very quick turnaround on the road in Williamsburg on Wednesday night for another big conference match against William & Mary.”
The loss sends Elon to 14-11 overall and 3-7 in CAA play with six matches to go on the campaign. Delaware improved to 5-15 overall and 3-7 in conference play. The two teams are now tied for sixth in the CAA standings with only six teams making next month’s CAA Tournament in Harrisonburg, Va.
Delaware cruised to an early 7-1 lead out of the gate, but Elon used its first timeout to stop the bleeding. After trading the next four points, the Phoenix started a 12-3 run with a Nori Thomas kill to flip the six-point deficit into a 15-12 lead. After going back and forth over the course of the next eight points, Delaware used a 4-1 run to go up 21-19, forcing an Elon timeout. The Phoenix came within one on the ensuing point thanks to a Kam Terry kill, but the Blue Hens took four of the next six points to win the set 25-22.
Though Delaware took two of the first three points of the second set, Elon then opened up a 9-2 run to take a 10-4 lead into a Delaware timeout. Brooke Robertson put down a kill out of the break to stop the streak, but Elon extended its lead to seven at 12-5 with a Terry kill and a Blue Hen attack error. A 3-0 Delaware run then put the Blue Hens back with five at 13-8, but the Phoenix answered with its own 3-0 run to double UD up 16-8 and continued the strong set with a 20-10 lead on the way to taking the set 25-16.
Delaware again opened the third set by jumping out to a lead, this time at 5-3. The Phoenix answered with a 7-2 run to make it 10-7, bringing a Blue Hen timeout. Delaware used the stoppage as a springboard, though, to go on a 5-0 run that extended to 9-2 to lead 16-12. With Delaware up by five, Elon cut the advantage to two at 20-18 thanks to kills by Terry, Julia Crabtree, Courtney Carpenter and Kodi Garcia and an attack error by Delaware to force a UD timeout. But Delaware used its final timeout to compose itself and went on a 5-1 run to take the third set 25-19.
Like the first set, Delaware jumped out of the gate with a 6-1 lead in the fourth that brought an Elon timeout. The Phoenix jumpstarted a 6-3 run with a Sydney Busa kill and two kills and an ace by Carpenter to come back within two at 9-7, but Delaware took its first timeout and went on a 6-0 run following the break to take a 15-7 advantage. Trailing 17-10, Carpenter added another kill and she and Crabtree then blocked a Maria Bellinger attack to come within five. Elon then used a 3-1 run to again get back within five at 21-16, but Delaware closed the set with a 4-0 run to win it 25-16.
Terry led the Phoenix with 17 kills. She also added 15 digs in the loss. Busa posted 13 kills and 22 digs while Carpenter finished with nine kills, four digs, three blocks and two aces. Crabtree fell one kill shy of matching her career-best seven kills. She did match her career high in blocks with two. Garcia finished her afternoon with 46 assists to go with three kills, three digs, two blocks and two aces.
Robertson’s 22 kills led all players in the match. She also finished with 10 digs and two aces. Bellinger finished with 12 kills, 16 digs and two blocks. Courtnie Roberts posted 32 assists and 13 digs to go with two blocks while Abby Skryd earned a 14-assist, 11-dig double-double. Maddie Judge led all players with 21 digs on the afternoon.
-Busa now stands at 1,239 kills in her career in maroon and gold. She is 40 kills behind matching Caroline Lemke’s 1,279 from 2008-11 for the fifth-most in program history. The senior now also has 1,033 digs in her career, standing 63 behind Chanelle Smith for 10th-most in Elon history.
-Jaudon improved her career dig total to 1,290. She is now 78 behind M.K. Spear’s 1,368, which stands as the fifth-most in program history.
Elon will remain on the road for CAA matches in Virginia, starting with a Wednesday night match on Oct. 25 at William & Mary. The Phoenix will then close its four-match road trip with a Sunday afternoon, Oct. 29, match at James Madison. First serve against the Tribe is set for 7 p.m. and the match at JMU slated for 1 p.m.