ELON, N.C. – Strong serving and a potent attack keyed a straight-set victory over North Carolina Central as the Elon University volleyball won its home opener Tuesday night, Sept. 10 inside Schar Center.
After the match, head coach Mary Tendler commented, “It was great to play our first match in Schar Center this season and get the win. Our serve put a lot of pressure on them, which allowed us to get a lot of good transition swings. The crowd was awesome and very helpful as we successfully defended Robertson Court.”
The Phoenix improves to 2-5 on the season and has now won 21 matches versus the Lady Eagles (0-7). Elon is now 27-5 in the all-time series and will play NCCU again on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in Durham, N.C.
Elon 3, NCCU 0 | 25-18, 25-11, 25-20
An early 4-0 run gave the visitors a 6-4 advantage in the opening set, but Leah Daniel ignited a 6-0 response to wrestle away control at 11-7 and force an NCCU timeout. After the Phoenix pushed its lead to six, the Lady Eagles pulled to within three at 21-18 and again at 22-19. However, another score by Daniel and an ace from Jenn Krzeminski secured the first match point for the maroon and gold.
Elon dominated the next set, scoring the first three points from a pair of Kodi Garcia aces and an NCCU attack error. A Natatlie Cummins kill started another 6-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 10-2, and a Julia Crabtree point was the first of five unanswered that made it 18-7. The attack was too much for the maroon and gray, who weren’t able to string together more than two consecutive points. A 25-11 decision made it a 2-0 match lead for Elon.
The Lady Eagles recovered at the start of set three, coming out of the gate with four-straight points that made the Phoenix return to its bench. The quick huddle up worked, as Mikayla Azcue opened a 5-0 response. After the guest knotted the score at 5-5, Elon put together another 5-0 run and never looked back. Garcia assisted Krzeminski for the match point as the 25-20 tally sealed the victory for the Phoenix.
Daniel scored 14-of-26 attacks as she hit .462 and added a dig and a block assist. Kellyn Trowse followed with nine kills, and Krzeminski finished with seven. Garcia and Haylie Clark combined for 37 assists, and Krzeminski served three aces. Defensively, Trowse tallied eight digs while Isabella Seman and Jordan Gower had six each. Krzeminski was a force in the middle of the court, racking up five blocks on the evening.
As a team, Elon out hit NCCU .323 to .147 and held the advantage in points (57.0-34.0), kills (45-26), aces (7-3), assists (44-25), and digs (33-31).
The Phoenix has a pair of matches this weekend, beginning with a 7 p.m. meeting with Furman this Friday, Sept. 13. The team then hosts Wake Forest for a 2 p.m. tilt on Sunday, Sept. 15. Both contests are part of the Demon Deacon/Phoenix Challenge.