KENNESAW, Ga. — Unforced errors plagued the Elon University volleyball team in its final two games of the KSU Owls Invitational at Kennesaw State University.
Elon was swept by No. 7 Purdue University (25-20, 25-19, 25-18) and lost in five sets to the University of North Carolina at Asheville (25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 25-9).
“We played a really smart match this morning against Purdue and competed well,” Elon head coach Mary Tendler said in a press release. “We just had trouble closing out each set after hanging with them at the beginning. Against UNC Asheville we simply made too many unforced errors, while they seemed to play error free. We look forward to coming home and playing High Point on Wednesday.”
Purdue, ranked No. 7 by the AVCA, committed 12 service errors on its end. It was the first time in Elon's Division I era that it has played a ranked opponent.
The Phoenix went up 4-0 to start the first set, but the Boilermakers rallied to tie it at 5-5. The set stayed close until Purdue reeled off four straight points to take a 18-15 lead and push that momentum forward.
After Elon went up 9-6 in the second, Purdue tied it at 12-12 before sealing it by going up 19-15. It was much of the same in the third set, where the Phoenix led 7-3 and 11-9 before Purdue took 16-12 and 22-18 leads.
UNCA controlled much of the first set, but Elon went on a 5-1 run in the second to take a 10-6 lead. The set was tied at 15-15 and 19-19, but the Bulldogs prevailed for a 2-0 match lead.
The teams traded points for the greater part of the third set, eventually tying it at 20-20. Kills by senior middle blocker Kris Harris and junior defensive specialist Chelsea Rafetto down the stretch swung the set in Elon's favor.
Elon sprinted to a 9-2 lead in the fourth and was able to keep on the gas as the match went to a decisive fifth set, where UNCA scored six straight points to break the set open at 9-3.
Agae posted a career-high 15 kills for Elon. Senior outside hitter Danielle Smith and junior outside hitter Megan Gravley had 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Redshirt freshman Sydel Curry had 40 assists, and sophomore libero Morgan Maner had 10 digs.
Elon returns to action Wednesday at home against High Point University.