With a .327 hitting percentage, a mere 10 errors and 44 kills, Appalachian State University rolled through Alumni Gym and topped the Elon University volleyball team 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-12) Friday, Nov. 1.
After a 6-all tie in the first set, Elon had difficulty finding an offensive rhythm and the Mountaineers offense started clicking.
“Appalachian State came to play tonight,” said senior right-side hitter Cali Estes. “They were the better team. One positive we can take out of this is now we’re tied record-wise with them, so getting a win (against Western Carolina University) would put us back into a good position.”
In the first set, a 4-0 run by Appalachian State gave them a 10-6 advantage, a lead they wouldn’t let go of throughout the rest of the set. The Phoenix reduced the deficit to 23-20, but a kill by junior middle blocker Lauren Gray from sophomore setter Paige Brown and then a block by Gray and Brown prevented the comeback.
Elon had an opportunity late in the second set, going on a 5-1 run and tying the game up at 23-all after a kill by junior right-side hitter Danielle Smith. Two kills by the Mountaineers, both assisted by Brown, cooled off the Phoenix as Appalachian State took a 2-0 lead and went on to dominate the third set.
“We had trouble stopping them offensively,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “They were really efficient tonight, and we weren’t being aggressive enough on the defensive end to stop them.”
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Gravley led Elon with 11 kills. Estes had 10 kills, one service ace and 13 assists on the night. Freshman middle blocker Ally Karle chipped in with six kills and three blocks, replacing junior Kris Harris who is out indefinitely with an injury.
For the Mountaineers, Brown orchestrated the offense to the tune of 38 assists and zero attack errors. Sophomore outside hitter Emily Corrigan put up 15 kills and one service ace. Sophomore defensive specialist Meghan Mahoney led all players with 25 digs.
The Phoenix will stay at Alumni Gym to face Western Carolina at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.