Elon volleyball started family weekend off with a bang, downing the reigning CAA champion Hofstra Pride in four sets.
The Phoenix (6-8, 1-0) took down the Pride (7-6, 0-1) 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-20, 25-18). This was not only the opening game of family weekend but it was their first conference match of the season.
Junior captain Isabella Seman played her first game back from a knee injury against the Pride. Seman got bursitis in her knee after a practice ahead of the Phoenix Challenge Sep. 13. In her first game back the defensive specialist tallied 12 digs to lead the Phoenix to an upset victory in front of their families.
“I’m still in shock right now,” Seman said. “I’m just so proud of our team, so proud of our coaches, so proud of everyone to get that first win and give our team that confidence.”
The Phoenix attacked the 2018 CAA champs in the first set by playing the Pride close. Even when the Pride had the lead the Phoenix defense would not allow their lead to surpass three points. With the Phoenix holding a slim 17-16 lead, freshman middle blocker Jenn Krzeminski stepped up and shifted the momentum of the match completely. Krzeminski scored two kills and shut the door on the Pride with a block on three consecutive points. The Phoenix took the opening set 25-20.
The second set was a thriller. The Pride controlled the majority of the set with long runs and strong defense. Late in the set the Pride held a 19-22 lead over the Phoenix, three points away from victory. The set was saved by the Phoenix leading point scorer, sophomore outside hitter Leah Daniel, who ripped of four kills in five points to even the score at 23 apiece. The Phoenix would force extra points but the Pride would take the win 27-25.
The Phoenix would take set three 25-20 after dominating the second half of the set. Then with all the momentum, the Phoenix dominated the Pride in the fourth set winning 25-18, securing the 3-1 victory.
“We have learned so much about our team. From the first match we played to now, we’re a whole different team and we’re just going to get better and better,” head coach Mary Tendler said.
Elon volleyball continues its family weekend homestand Sunday when they take on Northeastern University at 12 p.m. in Schar Center.