Elon Volleyball Phoenix Begins 2019 Season at Robert Morris Invitational

MOON TOWNSHIP, PA. – Entering her 17th season leading the program, Elon University volleyball head coach Mary Tendler and the Phoenix begin the 2019 season at the Robert Morris Sheraton Invitational this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30-31. The maroon and gold opens the tournament against McNeese State at 3 p.m. on Friday, followed by a match with the host Colonials at 7 p.m. The team then rounds out its opening weekend Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Manhattan.

Updates for all of Elon’s matches will be provided on the team’s Twitter account at @ElonVB. Fans can also follow the tournament action with live stats, while Elon’s match against Robert Morris will be streamed on NEC Front Row.

-vs. McNeese State: Friday’s match marks the second-ever meeting between the two teams. The Cowgirls earned a 3-1 decision on Sept. 7, 2007 in the first match of the Illinois-Chicago Invitational.

-vs. Robert Morris: Friday will also be the second meeting with the Colonials, with Elon holding a 1-0 advantage in the series. The two teams went the distance on Sept. 12, 2008 as the Phoenix prevailed 3-2 at the RMU Invitational. Down 2-0, the maroon and gold won set three 26-24 and forced extra play with a 25-18 tally in set four. Elon then made several key plays down the stretch to edge the hosts 16-14. Traci Stewart led the Phoenix with a 14-kill, 15-dig double-double and added four blocks and one service ace. Sarah Schermerhorn and Caroline Lemke also finished in double-digit kills with 15 and 10, respectively.

-vs. Manhattan: The Jaspers won the only meeting between the two programs 3-1 on Sept. 21, 2002. Behind 1-0 in the match, Elon pulled even with a 30-27 set two decision, but Manhattan won the next two sets 30-24 and 30-27. Kate Hart racked up 33 assists with 13 digs and Maria LaBrutto scored 12 kills with 15 digs to pace the Phoenix. Sarah Haskell recorded seven blocks to help lead the defensive effort.

-The Colonial Athletic Association released its 2019 Preseason Poll on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and the Phoenix were selected to finish eighth with 15 total points. The poll was selected based on a vote by the league’s head coaches.
-James Madison was tabbed the preseason favorite with six first-place votes and 62 total points. Defending CAA Champion Hofstra followed with three first-place votes and 57 points, and College of Charleston rounded out the top three with 49 points.

-The Phoenix brings back 10 student-athletes from its 14-member team in 2018, to include four of its starters, and will be led by captains Nori Thomas and Isabella Seman.
-A 2018 CAA All-Rookie selection, Kellyn Trowse seeks to build off of a strong freshman campaign. The Tampa, Fla. native finished second on the team in scoring last season with 226.5 points and 197 kills. Kodi Garcia is also looking to continue her strong play after eclipsing 2,000 career assists in 2018. She is 403 assists away from tying for fifth on the program’s D1 record list and only 127 away from cracking the top 10 on Elon’s all-time career leaders list. The Tomball, Texas native recoded six double-doubles in 2018 and reached double-digit assists in all 28 matches she appeared in.
-Sophomores Haylie Clark and Leah Daniel are also expected to contribute for the Phoenix. Clark tallied 201 assists to go along with 12 aces and 63 digs last year. Daniel finished third on the team in kills with 185 and added 22 total blocks.
-Elon adds a class of five freshmen in newcomers Alex VanWestrienen, Jenn Krzeminski, Mikayla Azcue, Jordan Gower, and Claire Richey.

Elon will start the month of September in Lynchburg, Va. at the Liberty Invitational, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7 at the Vines Center. Day One of the tournament sees the Phoenix playing Virginia Tech at 6 p.m. The next day features a 10 a.m. tilt with the host Lady Flames, followed by a 4 p.m. match with Davidson.

Following the trip to Liberty, Elon will host North Carolina Central for the team’s home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 10. First serve between the Phoenix and the Lady Eagles is schedule for 7 p.m. in Schar Center.