Finishing strong was a strong point and positive taken out of the Elon University volleyball team’s 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-19, 25-19) loss to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on Saturday, Oct. 11 in Alumni Gym.

It’s something Elon’s been struggling with since Colonial Athletic Association action began two weeks ago. Falling into lulls and not ending sets on a good note is something the Phoenix hasn’t done.

Elon went down17-8 and later 19-10 in the fourth set, with the match pretty much in hand, but clawed back to come as close as four down the stretch.

“We pushed back a lot of the games,” redshirt freshman setter Sydel Curry said. “I can definitely see development through each and every game that we play. That’s definitely one positive we look at. We keep fighting, we keep going and that’s definitely a positive we can get from this.”

Elon head coach Mary Tendler said she saw a noticeable improvement from last week’s CAA losses to James Madison University and the College of William & Mary.

“I was really proud of the girls for pushing back at the end of the fourth set,” Tendler said. “We’ve had some matches where that didn’t happen. For them to be behind by so much but keep fighting point for point showed their character. That’s a step in the right direction for us.”

LAST TIME OUT: Phoenix loses groove, struggles to respond in loss to UNCG

Elon hit its stride during the second set, where sophomore middle blocker Ally Karle sparked the Phoenix to break away from a 13-13 tie and take a 20-16 lead. Elon trailed 7-3 early on in the set.

Karle tallied six of her 10 kills during the second set alone.

“We were covering our hitters a lot more than the first set,” Curry said. “We were swinging hard, being aggressive the whole time. With us, if everything is on, we’re going to win the game.”

Elon led for much of the first set before UNCW broke away midway through the set with an 9-2 run to take a 19-16 lead. The Seahawks reeled off the final six points of the set.

The teams were tied 15-15 in the third set before UNCW went on a 10-4 run to end the set.

Curry tallied 30 assists, while sophomore libero Morgan Maner recorded 13 digs.

The Phoenix will host Towson University Oct. 16 in CAA play at Alumni Gym.

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by ENN.