The Elon University volleyball team fell to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on Wednesday, 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21). The contest marks the last game for the Phoenix before beginning conference play in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"We can play better than we showed tonight," said head coach Mary Tendler. "But this was a huge improvement from the weekend [at the Popcorn Classic], and that's all I can ask for. UNCG made some plays at the end to get the win, but I'm proud of the effort."
The Phoenix started the first set on a 12-7 run, before UNCG answered. The Spartans finished the set on a 18-5 run. But Elon was not deterred — after going down 5-1 at the start of the second set, the Phoenix found some momentum, taking an 11-10 lead on the back of a kill by junior outside hitter Ebony Scott. The Phoenix led for the rest of the set, taking a 25-21 victory and tying the match, 1-1.
The final two sets were less fortunate for the Phoenix. With the score tied 21-21 in set number three, a pair of attack errors by Elon along with a slew of kills from UNCG curbed the Phoenix, who lost 25-21 after holding a four point lead earlier in the set. The fourth set was much of the same — with the score tied 20-20, a service error and two attack errors contributed to a 25-21 loss for Elon.
"A lot of teams go through rough preseasons," said junior outside hitter Kayla Agae, who finished the match with nine kills and nine digs. "We have so much space to keep learning, to keep building with each other."
Sophomore outside hitter Sydney Busa led the Phoenix offense, finishing the match with 12 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore setter Sydel Curry led the team with 32 assists before sustaining a match-ending injury, and freshman defensive specialist Maddie Jaudon led the Phoenix in digs with 26.
The loss gives the Phoenix an overall record of 3-10 as the preseason comes to a close. Elon has over a week off before traveling to Boston for its CAA season opener against Northeastern University. The match is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25.