ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball opened league play with a statement win as the Phoenix (6-8, 1-0 CAA) defeated defending conference champion Hofstra 3-1 on Friday night, Sept. 27 in Schar Center.
“We are very happy to start CAA play with a win, ” said head coach Mary Tendler. “Proud of the players for how they worked and for the confidence they displayed on the court. We look forward to our next challenge on Sunday.”
The Pride falls to 7-6 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Elon 3, Hofstra 1 | 25-20, 25-27, 25-20, 25-18
Set One saw the visitors take an early 4-1 advantage, but Elon pulled even with a 3-0 response. The teams continued to trade the lead until a pair of Jenn Krzeminski kills highlighted a 3-0 push that put the maroon and gold in control, 20-16. Another three unanswered made it 24-19, and a bad set by Hofstra gave the home team the first point of the match.
The Pride scored the first three points of the next set and pulled ahead 11-8, but another kill by Krzeminski and a pair of Hofstra attack errors allowed Elon to knot the score at 11-11. The defending champs strung together five-straight points to retake the lead 18-12, but the Phoenix refused to go down without a fight. Three consecutive kills by Leah Daniel tied the set again at 22-22. Later, a pair of Nori Thomas scores had Elon ahead 25-24, but Hofstra earned the next three points to tie the match at a set apiece.
The third set was another battle as neither team could stay ahead for long. With a narrow 20-19 advantage late, a Kellyn Trowse attack landed in play and kicked off a 5-1 swing to close out the set. The second 25-20 decision of the evening put the maroon and gold back in control, 2-1.
Elon was relentless early in Set Four, establishing a 13-6 lead with eight unanswered points. Hofstra was able to fight back to within a point at 18-17, but three-straight aces from Isabella Seman emphasized another 5-0 stretch for the Phoenix. After Preseason Player of the Year Laura Masciullo earned a point for the guests, Kodi Garcia assisted Krzeminski and Daniel to bring the match to an end.
Daniel and Thomas paced the Elon attack with 14 and 13 kills, respectively. Garcia chipped in 28 assists, Haylie Clark also reached double-digits with 14 assists, and Seman served four aces. The Pittsburg, Pa. native added 12 digs, Trowse followed with 11 digs, and Krzeminski racked up five blocks (two solo).
-The win is just the second against the Pride, who still holds a 9-2 advantage in the all-time series.
-Elon is 1-0 to start league play for the first time since the 2010 season when the team was a member of the SoCon. The maroon and gold topped visiting Samford 3-1 in Alumni Gym on Sept. 25 that year.
-Daniel has now reached double-digit kills in nine consecutive matches.
-With 2,403 career assists, Garcia moves past Sydel Curry (2014-16) for eighth place on the program’s career leaders list.
-The four aces mark a new season high for Seman.
-The Phoenix edged Hofstra in kills (52-42), attack percentage (.212 – .090), assists (46-40), aces (8-7), digs (60-53), blocks (8.0 – 4.0), and points (68.0 – 53.0).
-The match featured 25 ties and 14 lead changes.
Elon is back in Schar Center this Sunday, Sept. 29 for another CAA match against Northeastern. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m.