The Elon University volleyball team lost to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-19) at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational in Annapolis, Md Saturday afternoon, but beat host Navy a few hours later 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-22) to finish the tournament on a high note.
In the first match, the Seahawks broke out of a tie game in the first set and maintained their lead throughout the rest of the match. The second match was a much closer affair with Elon grabbing the victory thanks to stellar play by junior Kris Harris.
Senior Cali Estes had 11 kills to go with nine assists for the Phoenix while junior Chanelle Smith and Harris tallied 8 kills each.
For UNC-Wilmington, sophomore Victoria Phillips had 31 of the team’s 35 assists. Sophomore Lindsay Hartmann led the Seahawks with 14 digs. Junior Morgan Kline, senior Courtney Porter and senior Christi Laite had 7 kills each.
In the first set, Elon had a 7-6 lead, but then the Seahawks grabbed a 14-10 advantage after a block by junior Leah Gagliardi and Porter. The Phoenix took a much-needed timeout afterward, but played behind for the rest of the set. Three service aces by UNC-Wilmington helped maintain their lead.
Elon got into a 6-2 hole after four consecutive errors in the second set. Two kills by Smith helped the Phoenix make it 9-8, but the Seahawks reeled off seven straight points and never looked back. Harris led the team with four kills and one block in the set.
Smith continued her strong play in the third set, but a 19-17 deficit was the closest the Phoenix would get before UNC-Wilmington escaped with the victory. Elon led the set with 17 kills, but they had 13 total errors compared to one by the Seahawks.
Every set against Navy was close, but Elon’s offense proved to be too much. Harris had 13 kills along with a .579 hitting percentage and three blocks. Smith chipped in with 10 kills and a service ace.
Nicksic and Estes did all of the distributing for the Phoenix, tallying 16 and 17 assists, respectively. Maner led the team with 11 digs.
For Navy, senior Erin Fortner had 12 of the team’s 34 kills, as well as a .259 hitting percentage. Sophomores Star Steele and Alex Karika combined for 29 assists. Sophomore Katie Sylakowski had 6 kills and 2 blocks.
The first set saw Elon go up 20-15 after a service ace by Smith. Navy clawed their way back to tie the set at 24-all after a kill by Fortner. Two kills by Smith helped the Phoenix take the first set.
The teams were tied at eight in the second set until Elon scored five straight, including two service aces by Maner. Three straight errors later on by the Phoenix gave Navy a 20-18 lead, but Elon bounced back and scored seven of the next eight points. Harris had two kills and a block during the run.
In the third set, Elon grabbed a 6-1 lead thanks to three errors by Navy. The host team came back to get a 16-14 advantage after an error by Nicksic. But the Phoenix regrouped and maintained the lead for the rest of the match.
Elon finished 1-2 at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational. They will play their first home game Tuesday against Campbell Universityat 7:00 p.m.