Elon Volleyball Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker to William & Mary

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Kodi Garcia’s 63 assists tied her for the 10th-most assists in a match in school history on Wednesday night, Oct. 25, but Elon University volleyball dropped a long five-set (25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10) match at William & Mary inside Kaplan Arena.


“It was a hard-fought five-set match with a lot of momentum changes.” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “Once again, we had some great individual performances. We found ways to get kills and dug a lot of balls, but big credit to their block for forcing us into a lot of hitting errors. That was the biggest difference in the match.”

Garcia’s 63 assists tie her with Priscilla Awkard’s 63 against Palm Beach Atlantic in 1993 and Emerald Zemedkun’s 63 against UNC Asheville in 2000. Garcia now has 1,036 assists on the year, which stands alone for the 10th-most in a season in program history with five matches to go in the regular season.

With the loss, Elon has now dropped three matches in a row and has an overall record of 14-12 with a CAA record of 3-8. William & Mary improved to 5-20 on the year and 2-9 in conference play.

Though the two teams traded points for a majority of the first set, the Tribe took control of the opening set with a 4-1 run to take an 11-10 lead to a 15-11 advantage. Following an Elon timeout, the Phoenix won three of the ensuing five points to come within three, but the Tribe answered with a 5-0 run to go up 23-15. Down eight, Elon went on an impressive 7-1 run to cut the Tribe lead to two at 24-22, but William & Mary closed the set out of a timeout with a kill by Julia Brown.

After William & Mary won the opening two points of the second set, Elon used a 5-0 run to go up three. The Phoenix kept that three-point margin until the midway point of the set when William & Mary came back within one at 13-12, but Elon responded with a 6-1 run to go up 19-13. Out of a Tribe timeout, Elon went up seven at 21-14 before a 3-0 run brought the Tribe back within four at 21-17. The Phoenix reached set point at 24-19 with a Nori Thomas kill, and though the Tribe held off three set points, Thomas closed the set with another kill to tie the match at 1-1.

Leading most of the third set, Elon was clinging to a one-point lead in the early going before the Tribe went on a 4-1 run to lead 12-10. William & Mary extended its lead to a set-high four points at 17-13, but from there the Phoenix went on a 10-3 run with multiple kills from Thomas and Kam Terry to make it 23-20. The Tribe fought back in winning three of the next four points, but Sydney Busa’s 17th kill of the night closed the 25-23 Phoenix win.

Like the third set, Elon held a lead early on until William & Mary went up 12-10 with a 3-0 run in the fourth. Unlike the third set, though, the Tribe held the lead for the remainder of the set. Elon did come within one at 16-15, but the Tribe kept Elon at a distance on the way to a 25-22 win.

Terry opened the final set by giving Elon each of its first three points with three kills and an Elizabeth Coil kill made it 4-2 to draw a Tribe timeout. Out of the break, William & Mary went on a 5-0 run to go up 7-4 and held the lead from there. Elon did cut the advantage to two at 11-9, but William & Mary closed the night on a 4-1 run to win the set 15-10.

Busa and Terry each finished with 23 kills to tie for the match high. Busa also added a career-high 27 digs for her 16th double-double in 26 matches. The 27 digs passed her previous career best of 26 digs earlier in the year at Liberty on Sept. 2. Terry also finished with 12 digs for her 15th double-double of the year. Carpenter and Thomas both finished with 10 kills. To go with her 63 assists, Garcia also had 14 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. Coil led the Phoenix with three blocks. Maddie Jaudon also finished with 22 digs.

Sydney Biniak paced William & Mary with 20 kills to go with six digs and two blocks. Brown and Heather Pippus both posted 13 kills and Kate Dedrick 12. Pippus also had 12 digs for the double-double. Katie Turner led the Tribe with 27 digs and Katie Kemp finished with a team-high 31 assists while Autumn Brenner posted 23.

-With her 23 kills, Busa now has 1,262 in her career. She is now 17 behind Caroline Lemke’s 1,279 for fifth-most in program history.
-Busa also has 1,060 digs to date in maroon and gold. The senior stands 36 digs behind Chanelle Smith’s 1,096, which stands as the 10th-most in program history.
-Jaudon’s 22 digs puts her career total at 1,312. That stands 56 behind M.K. Spear’s 1,368 digs from 2001-04, which stands as the fifth-most in Elon history.
-Entering the match, Elon was 3-1 in five-set matches, but now stands at 3-2 after dropping each of its last two to Northeastern and the Tribe.
–Elon previously held an 11-1 record when winning the third set before falling to the Tribe in five. Elon took the second and third sets before dropping the final two.

Elon will close its four-match road trip with a 1 p.m. match at James Madison on Sunday, Oct. 29. When JMU made the trip to Elon on Sept. 25, it swept the Phoenix in Alumni Gym 3-0.