The Elon University volleyball team was competitive in each set Wednesday, Oct. 2 against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Phoenix fell to the Spartans 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19).
Elon competed in each set, tying it at 20-all in the first set and tying it at 19-all in the second and third sets. But, UNCG made late runs in each of the three sets it won to get its second conference win of the season. Elon sits at 1-2 in Southern Conference play.
An attack error by UNCG senior Olivia Humphries gave Elon an early 10-5 advantage in the first set. The Phoenix extended the lead to 17-11 with a kill by sophomore setter Ana Nicksic. The Spartans rushed back to grab the 21-20 lead after an attack error by sophomore outside hitter Megan Gravley. UNCG sealed the comeback win with a kill by senior hitter Morgan Freeman.
In the second set, Elon got an 11-10 lead after a kill by Gravley. UNCG chipped away and went up 17-16 after a kill by Humphries. Elon right-side hitter Cali Estes scored after a Phoenix timeout to reduce the deficit to 21-20. The Spartans held on after two consecutive errors by Elon to take the set.
Elon exploded out of the gates in the third set to get a 16-5 lead, thanks in part to eight total errors by UNCG. A service ace by freshman defensive specialist Morgan Maner extended the Phoenix lead to 23-10. UNCG tried to make another late rally, but a kill by Gravley gave Elon their first set win of the night.
A 5-1 lead by the Spartans in the fourth set quickly turned into an 8-6 advantage by Elon, which forced UNCG to take a timeout. A kill by junior right-side hitter Danielle Smith tied the game at 17-all. Freshman outside hitter Kayla Agae scored to put the Phoenix up 19-18, but UNCG went on a 7-0 run to win the game and the match.
Gravley led the Phoenix with 13.5 points and posted three digs. Freshman middle blocker Ally Karle tallied seven kills and five total blocks. Senior defensive specialist Maggie Reichard had 16 digs in the game.
For the Spartans, Freeman had 11 kills and a .381 hitting percentage. Humphries tallied 13 kills and six digs. Junior setter Emily McMurtey contributed 26 assists.
Elon plays at Davidson College Friday, Oct. 4, then finishes up its five-game road trip versus North Carolina A&T State University Tuesday, Oct. 8 before returning home.