The Elon University volleyball team got back on the right track Tuesday night, sweeping North Carolina Central University (25-20, 25-13, 25-17) in a nonconference match at Alumni Gym.
“I think this game gave us a lot of confidence going into our last two weekends in conference games," said junior outside hitter Sydney Busa. "It was good to get this win.”
Busa shined during the game, picking up 19 kills on 32 total attempts — both more than twice as many as the next highest player. As a whole, Elon's offense doubled the Eagles in number of kills, 52 to 26.
“I think our offense was really efficient and we got a lot of kills," said head coach Mary Tendler. “We started out kind of slow, and I’m just really happy with how we picked it up. We had more energy the longer the match went.”
The first set proved to be more of a battle than anyone initially anticipated, as an NC Central run to take a 9-7 lead forced Elon to take a timeout. The Eagles' lead would grow no larger, and after Elon used its second timeout when down 18-17, the Phoenix stormed to the end with an 8-2 run to win the set.
Elon rode its momentum to a dominant second set win, using three separate 5-0 runs to pull away from NC Central. In the third set, Elon stumbled out of the gates to a 4-0 deficit, with Tendler calling time. But Elon rebounded quickly and was able to use little bursts to retake the lead, which the Phoenix did not relent.
Tendler was pleased to see Elon recover its defensive form in the middle of a match, something she noticed had been lacking for Elon in Colonial Athletic Association play.
“This weekend, we didn’t focus as much on our blocks and our defense and slowing everything down,"Tendler said. "The first set tonight, NC Central did really well against us, but we slowed them down in the second and third set offensively. That’s what we need to do moving forward."
With the win, Elon improves to 17-12 overall. The Phoenix will travel south this weekend for its final road trip of the season, taking on the College of Charleston at 1 p.m. Saturday and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington at 7 p.m. Monday.