ELON, N.C. – Needing a win to separate itself in the CAA standings, Elon University volleyball earned a 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 16-25, 15-12) victory over Hofstra on Friday night, Nov. 3, in Alumni Gym.
“This is a great way to start our final weekend in Alumni Gym,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “The players showed a lot of drive and determination to pull out this win and we’re very proud of the team effort. We look forward to honoring both of our seniors on Sunday when we take on Northeastern and we’ll celebrate our final home match in Alumni Gym before moving to Schar Center next season.”
With three matches left in the regular season, Elon is now 4-9 in conference and 15-13 overall. It stands sixth in the CAA, one match ahead of 3-10 Delaware and UNCW. Hofstra dropped to 15-12 overall and 7-6 in conference play. It still stands fifth in the CAA standings.
Elon cruised out of the gate by winning 10 of the first 14 points. The Pride answered with a 6-3 run to come within two at 13-11, but the Phoenix went on a 6-0 run behind kills from Sydney Busa and Kam Terry and two attack errors by Nanishka Perez. Though Hofstra again came within two at 20-18 and again at 22-20, the Phoenix closed the set on a 3-0 run with a kill by Terry, an error by Laura Masciullo and a block by Elizabeth Coil and Busa.
Looking to even the match, Hofstra opened the second set on a 10-4 run before a 5-0 Phoenix run got Elon back within one at 10-9. The Pride again tried to pull away, this time with a 4-1 run, but Elon responded again with a quick 2-0 burst before going on a 5-0 run to lead 17-15. A 4-1 Pride run put it up 19-18 late, but Elon wouldn’t be denied with a 4-0 stretch that turned into a 6-3 run to close the 25-23 set with Busa putting the final nail in the coffin.
Through a back and forth third set, the two teams were even until Hofstra went on a run to go up 16-9. Elon answered with a 7-1 run of its own to go back on top at 17-16, but the Pride won eight of the ensuing 10 points to cut the overall deficit in half with the 25-18 win.
Much like the third set, the two sides were relatively even until Hofstra went on a 4-1 run to make it 12-8. Though Elon tried to come back with a 3-1 run of its own later on to make it 15-12, Hofstra against finished strong in taking 10 of the last 14 points to knot the match with a 25-16 win.
In the decisive fifth set, Elon jumped on Hofstra from the start with a 3-0 lead behind a kill by Nori Thomas, a block by Terry and Courtney Carpenter and an attack error by Masciullo. The Phoenix extended the lead to 10-6, but Hofstra came back with a 4-0 run to knot things at 10-all. After trading the next four points, Elon used a 3-0 run that included a Hofstra service error, a block by Alexa Pavlick and Julia Crabtree and a kill by Busa to claim the 15-12 set and the 3-2 match.
Busa’s 16-kill and 19-dig performance paced Elon with Terry close behind, as she finished with 13 kills and 17 digs. Kodi Garcia notched her 10th double-double of the year with 42 assists and 15 digs. Maddie Jaudon posted a match-high 24 digs and Erin Kelly fell one short of her career high with 15 digs. Coil led Elon with five blocks on the night while both Carpenter and Thomas added nine kills apiece. Carpenter also had five digs and four blocks and Thomas finished with three blocks.
Masciullo totaled a match-high 20 kills to go with 17 digs in the loss. Michela Rucli was the only other Hofstra player to reach double-digit kills with 10. Luisa Sydlik finished with 49 assists and Ivania Ortiz posted 20 digs in the match.
-With 16 kills, Busa passed Caroline Lemke for the fifth-most in program history. Busa’s 1,291 kills are now behind Debbie Hall’s 1,366 from 1992-95.
-The senior now also has 448 kills on the 2017 season, giving her the sixth-most in a season in program history. Busa passed Velma Degree’s 438 in 1992 and now takes aim at Lisa Bumgarner’s 473 in 1995.
-Adding 42 assists to her season total, Garcia is now alone in alone in eighth place for the most in a campaign. The freshman’s 1,121 is five behind Emerald Zemedkun’s 1,126 in 2000 and nine behind Megan McMahon’s 1,130 in 2010.
The Phoenix will play the last home match of its 46-year run in Alumni Gym on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. against Northeastern. Prior to the match, Elon will hold Senior Day festivities for Busa and Michelle Klein. Each of Elon’s last three matches against Northeastern have gone five sets, including Senior Day 2016 when Elon pulled out a 3-2 victory.