MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – After dropping its first two sets in the match, Elon University volleyball fought back for a 3-2 win over Manhattan Saturday afternoon, Aug. 31 at the UPMC Events Center. The match rounded out Elon’s season-opening weekend at the Sheraton Invitational, hosted by Robert Morris.
On the team’s start to the match, head coach Mary Tendlercommented, “It took us a while to get our rhythm started today, but when we finally did get going, we executed really well for a long period of time. I like how we are progressing as a team and we look forward to getting back in the gym for a full week of practice. There are definitely things we need to work on before our tournament at Liberty next weekend.”
With the win, the Phoenix improves to 1-2 on the season. Elon and Manhattan are now even at 1-1 in the all-time series.
Elon 3, Manhattan 2 | 23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-14, 15-9
A Kodi Garcia service ace helped the maroon and gold build an early 5-1 lead in the opening set, but the Jaspers (0-3) wrestled away control with a 6-1 swing to go up 10-8. Kills from Elizabeth Coil and Garcia and an ace by Isabella Seman knotted the set at 17-17. Both sides traded points down the stretch before Manhattan benefited from consecutive Elon attack errors for the 25-23 decision.
In Set Two, a pair of Coil kills ignited a 4-0 run that gave the Phoenix an 18-15 advantage, but it was short-lived. The green and white erupted for six unanswered and claimed the set 25-21 for the 2-0 match lead.
Elon’s offense started clicking in the third set, with Leah Daniel leading the way. The sophomore from Zionsville, Ind. scored three-straight points to cap off a 5-0 push that put her team on top, 12-8. Later in the set, a Jenn Krzeminski score and another Seman ace highlighted another 5-0 run that made it 22-13. Manhattan got to within five points before Kellyn Trowse earned the set point to put Elon on the scoreboard.
The Phoenix continued its momentum in the next set, jumping out to a 14-4 margin. Elon kept its foot on the gas pedal and pulled even in the match with a dominant 25-14 tally.
Set Five saw Elon determined to finish strong as the Phoenix came out of the gate hot with a 7-2 start. The Jaspers were never able to recover, and another pair of kills from Daniel secured Elon’s first win of the season with a 15-9 final.
After setting a new career high with 21 kills versus Robert Morris, Daniel bettered that effort with 27 against Manhattan. She scored 27-of-55 total attacks to finish with a .364 hitting percentage on the day and added an ace, two blocks, and a dig to her totals. Following her on offense was Trowse with 15 kills, while Haylie Clark and Garcia added 32 and 25 assists, respectively. Trowse also recorded 14 digs for her third-straight double-double performance. On defense, Seman totaled 22 digs and Alex VanWestrienen reached double figures with 10. Krzeminski finished with a team-high four blocks, and Coil was right behind her with three.
Whitney Brown, Robert Morris
Maria Alfano, Robert Morris
Emma Granger, Robert Morris
Keegan Nelms, McNeese State
Kendall Glueck, McNeese State
Leah Daniel, Elon
Nashally Eleutiza, Manhattan
MVP: Whitney Brown
The Phoenix continues play next weekend at the Liberty Invitational, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7 in Lynchburg, Va. The first day of the tournament sees Elon in a 6 p.m. match with Virginia Tech. The next day starts at 10 a.m. against the host Lady Flames, followed by a 4 p.m. tilt versus Davidson.