ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball finished a 46-year run of playing its home matches in Alumni Gym on Sunday, Nov. 5, with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-22) sweep of Northeastern. The victory pushed the Phoenix to 5-9 in the CAA, putting Elon in prime position to reach the CAA Tournament for the first time in Elon’s four-year tenure in the conference.
“To beat a very good team in three sets is an incredible feeling, but to do it on Senior Day makes it even better,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “The team was so consistent and so focused throughout the entire match. Sydney Busa was unbelievable. She took on such an offensive load for us and not only produced, but was very efficient. Maddie Jaudon also had a fantastic match. She was covering a lot of space on defense and we were able to convert a lot of those digs into points.”
The victory is Elon’s 16th of the season, as it now stands at 16-13 with the back-to-back wins. At 5-9 in the CAA, Elon is two wins up on 3-11 UNCW for the final spot in the CAA Tournament with two matches left in the regular season. Elon and UNCW will meet in the regular-season finale next Sunday, Nov. 12.
Though evenly matched throughout the first 26 points, Elon used a couple short bursts of points to lead 7-5 and 10-7, but Northeastern used a 6-3 run to tie the set at 13-all. From there, the Phoenix went on an 8-0 run with five kills to open up a commanding 21-13 lead. It never looked back after earning the eight-point lead in closing out the set winning four of the next seven points with Kam Terry ending it at 25-16.
Using the momentum from the first set, Elon cruised to a 7-2 lead to start the second set. Northeastern responded with a 9-4 run, though, to tie it at 11-all, but the Phoenix later used a 5-1 run to take a 17-14 lead. The Huskies tried to pull the set back by coming within two points on multiple occasions, but Elon finished the 25-21 set with a Busa kill.
Like the second set, Elon raced out to a sizeable lead at 6-2 in the first eight points, but Northeastern again answered with a 6-1 run to take an 8-7 lead. After trading a couple points, the Phoenix used a 4-1 run to go up 12-10 before using another 2-1 burst to lead by three at 14-11. Down the stretch, the Huskies came within two a couple times, but Elon kept Northeastern at arm’s length and held on for the 25-22 win to complete the sweep.
Busa’s stellar day finished with a match-high 21 kills to go with five digs and two blocks. Terry closed the afternoon with 11 kills and 13 digs. Alexa Pavlick also added five kills and a team-high four blocks. Kodi Garcia finished with 39 assists and Jaudon had a match-high 23 digs.
Amy Underdown paced Northeastern, finishing as the only Husky with doube-digit kills with 20. Gabrielle Eyl finished with 20 digs and Samantha Shupe posted a 14-assist, 12-dig double-double. Kristen Walding finished with a team-high 20 assists.
-The race for the sixth and final spot in the CAA Tournament is down to two teams – Elon and UNCW. William & Mary and Delaware have both been eliminated from contention. Delaware was eliminated Sunday with a 3-0 loss to College of Charleston. In three matches over the course of the last four days, Delaware lost all three at home by 3-0 score lines.
-With 24 digs on the weekend, Busa is now just two away from tying Chanelle Smith for the 10th-most in program history. With two more, she would join Debbie Hall as the only two players to rank in the program’s Top 10 in both career kills and career digs.
-Jaudon’s 23-dig performance pushed her past M.K. Spear’s 1,368 career digs from 2001-04. Now with 1,374 in maroon and gold, she sits fifth in program history for most digs and is just 20 behind Fiona MacPherson’s fourth-place 1,394 from 1995-98.
-Now with 469 kills this season, Busa is 11 behind Emily Hayes’ fourth-place 480 in 2003 for most in a season in program history. Hayes’ 480 also owns the top spot for most in a season since Elon became a Division I program.
-Garcia now has 1,160 assists this season, which ranks as the sixth-most in a season in Elon history. She is now 10 behind Sydel Curry’s 1,170 last year for the fifth-most in a campaign and the second-most in a Division I campaign for the Phoenix.
The final weekend of the regular season sees the Phoenix travel to College of Charleston on Friday, Nov. 10, for a 3:30 p.m. match against the Cougars at TD Arena before closing the regular season at UNCW on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. Elon lost 3-1 to Charleston on Oct. 13 and defeated UNCW 3-0 on Oct. 15 in Alumni Gym.