The Elon University volleyball team fell to Towson University 3-1 (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 25-18). The loss gives the Phoenix its second consecutive defeat at home in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play this season.
"Our offense is getting better and better, and it's nice to see," head coach Mary Tendler said. "For the first three sets tonight, our hitting efficiency was [getting] higher and higher."
Elon struggled to find a rhythm in the first set. With the score tied 4-4, the Phoenix offense stalled, and the Tigers were quickly up by 6, 10-4. Towson pulled away, and the Phoenix was unable to respond, as the Tigers went on to win the set, 25-14, overpowering the Phoenix with 15 kills.
The second set started better for Elon, as they battled evenly up until 13-13. With the score 17-16, the Tigers pulled ahead by four, 20-16, after back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter Jocelyn Kuilan and junior outside hitter Jessica Lewis. The Phoenix could not recover and dropped the second set, 25-20.
Elon's offense came alive in set number three. After trailing for most of the first two sets, the Phoenix came out and took an early 9-5 lead, forcing the Tigers to take an early timeout. After the timeout, Elon extended its lead to six, 12-6. Elon's momentum continued throughout the rest of the set, even as Towson pulled within three. The Phoenix won the third set, 25-20.
The teams battled early in set four for the lead. But Towson started to pull away from the Phoenix, taking a four point lead, 11-7, and forcing Elon to call a timeout. Although Elon recovered for a time and tied the match at 13-13 on an attack error by Towson, the Tigers would again pull away, winning the set 25-18, and the match, 3-1.
"Our serves were aggressive, that was a plus," said junior middle blocker Ally Karle, who finished with 12 kills. "We had a lot of options going, which was great, too."
Sophomore outside hitter Sydney Busa led the way offensively for the Phoenix, tallying 12 kills and 14 digs. Senior middle blocker Catherine Head finished with eight kills, and sophomore setter Sydel Curry finished with 34 assists and two kills.
The loss drops Elon to 3-14 on the season and 0-4 in CAA play. Towson is now 16-2 on the year, and 3-1 in the CAA. Elon's next match is at 7 p.m. Oct 8, as they host the College of Charleston.