Primed with an opportunity to snap a two-match losing streak, the Elon University volleyball team fell just short against Hofstra University Friday, losing 3-2 in a five-set battle.
After losing the second and third sets, Elon found a spark in the fourth, but couldn’t hold on as they lost the fifth set 15-13. After Friday night, Elon went the distance with a CAA opponent five times, but was only victorious once.
“It was a good defensive battle on both sides, “ said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. "They were a little more proficient than us throughout the match, but I liked the fight we had. “
At points in the fifth set, the score was knotted up five times — including at 13-13 — but Hofstra scored the final two points to win 15-13. It solidified a spot in the playoffs for the Pride, who beat the Phoenix 3-0 earlier in the year.
The match — like the fifth set — swung back and forth throughout. Elon stole the first set 25-23 with help from junior outside hitter Sydney Busa’s four kills. But the Phoenix stalled in the middle two sets, losing 25-15 and 25-21. Facing elimination, Elon surged in the fourth set to a 25-21 win. Tendler credited the fourth set win to her team’s confidence when they easily could have given up.
“They looked really confident and, when we’re confident, we play well,” Tendler said.
The Phoenix drops to 17-15 overall and 3-12 in Costal Athletic Association play. The final match of the regular season and Senior Day is tomorrow, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. against Northeastern University in Alumni Gym. Redshirt junior setter Sydel Curry, who sat out one year because of an injury and still has a year of eligibility, said she’ll have mixed emotions because it will be the last time she plays with her graduating class.
“These are the girls I came up with,” Curry said. “It’ll definitely be a little sad, but I’m glad I got to play with a great group of players.”