Freshman outside hitter Kam Terry had a career night, but the Elon University volleyball team fell to Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival the College of Charleston 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 26-24). Terry led the Phoenix offensively with 18 kills on the night and finished with 11 blocks in the match.
"It felt really good," Terry said. "I knew that this game meant a lot to the team because of what they did last year, and I wanted to prove that we are able to [compete]. It was an exciting moment."
The Phoenix had trouble establishing an offensive presence at the beginning of the first set. Two attack errors and two service errors put Elon in the hole early, 7-4. But the Phoenix wasn't deterred, coming back to tie the score 9-9 off a kill by Terry. College of Charleston responded with a 8-1 run, leading to a 25-17 victory in the set.
The Phoenix offense ignited early in the second set, as Elon jumped out to an early 5-2 lead. Elon responded each time the Cougars made the set close, taking the lead for the final time at 21-20. Thanks to a six-point run, Elon won the second set, 25-21.
"We served well during the [second set]," said head coach Mary Tendler. "We stayed aggressive. That's the time that you want to be aggressive, you want to communicate and just execute on our side."
College of Charleston responded to Elon's burst of offense with a 12-4 run, forcing the Phoenix to use both timeouts.The Phoenix rallied late in the set, pulling within two on the back of another kill by Terry. But it wasn't enough, as the Cougars took set three, 25-20.
The fourth set remained close throughout, with the teams battling for the lead. The Phoenix took a 19-17 lead to force a timeout, but the Cougars responded with six straight points and ultimately prevailed in the set, 26-24, to win the match, 3-1.
Aside from Terry, senior outside hitter Megan Gravley also played a crucial part in Elon's offensive output in the match, racking up 13 kills and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Ally Karle finished with 10 kills and six blocks, and sophomore setter Sydel Curry finished with 46 assists.
With the loss, Elon falls to 3-15 overall and 0-5 in CAA play. College of Charleston improves to 10-8 overall with a 2-2 CAA record. Elon's next match is at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 when it hosts the University of Delaware.