ELON, N.C. – In a battle of North Division leaders, UNCG won the first set, but Elon, led by four players with double-digit kills, won the next three sets as the Spartans fell to the Phoenix, 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-22), on Friday evening in Jordan Gym.
The Spartans fell to 15-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Southern Conference, while the Phoenix improved to 12-9 this year and 4-1 in the league.
"I was proud of the girls tonight," said coach Patrick Nicholas. "We had opportunities to quit late in the match, but we didn't. We continued to fight and dug in and played with a lot of heart. We need to play a little better on the right side, but we can fix that. Hopefully, we will be able to bounce back tomorrow against Wofford."
Ariel Newman led the Spartans as she recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills and 13 digs. Caley Redden also had a double-double for UNCG as she had 10 kills and 18 digs. Freshman Kellie Orewiler added a match- and season-high 22 digs for UNCG.
Lauren Copenhagen and Sarah Schermerhorn paced the Phoenix attack with 14 kills each, while Allison Johnson and Caroline Lemke each had 11 kills. Megan McMahon led Elon with a match-high 42 assists and 14 digs.
The Spartans started the match well as they took a 4-1 lead in the first set on a block by Kayren Finney and Newman. The Phoenix came right back to win the next four points and take a 5-4 lead. The teams traded points until UNCG led late in the set 17-14, before winning the next six points to take a commanding 23-14 lead. The Spartans went the set, 25-17, on a kill by Alissa Beaudway.
The two teams once again found themselves in a tight second set as they were tied at 10 early. UNCG trailed just 14-13 before Elon ran off five-straight points to go ahead, 19-13. The Spartans weren't able to come back as they fell, 25-17, to be tied at one at the break.
Coming out of intermission, the two sides picked up where they left off as they played a close third set. It appeared as if the Spartans were in control as they led the entire set and before beginning to pull away a take a 18-14 midway through the set. Elon then called a timeout and came out on fire as it won the next nine points to take a 21-18 lead.
The Phoenix had set point at 24-22, but the Spartans got a kill from Redden and an attack error by Elon to tie the set at 24. Elon responded though with back-to-back kills from Lemke and Schermerhorn to win the set, 26-24.
Elon continued to carry its momentum in the fourth set as the Phoenix jumped out to a 10-4 lead. The Spartans trailed 17-12 after a kill by Lemke before they won the next four points to make it a one-point set. UNCG still trailed by one at 22-21, but Elon had two kills from Copenhagen to set up match point. The Spartans took the next point, but the Phoenix won the final point to win the set, 25-22.
The Spartans return home on Saturday as they host Wofford for a 7 p.m. contest in Fleming Gymnasium.
Elon def. UNCG 17-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-22
UNCG (15-5 (3-2 SoCon)) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Ariel Newman 16-0-2; Caley Redden 10-0-4; Kayren Finney 8-0-7; Billi Baker 6-0-1; Olivia Humphries 6-0-2; Alissa Beaudway 4-0-1; Ari Lysacek 3-0-1; Kellie Orewiler 2-0-0; Totals 55-0-11.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 30; Kimiko Naito 16. (Dig leaders) - Kellie Orewiler 22; Caley Redden 18; Ariel Newman 13; Ari Lysacek 9
Elon (12-9 (4-1 SoCon)) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lauren Copenhagen 14-2-0; Sarah Schermerhorn 14-1-2; Caroline Lemke 11-0-4; Allison Johnson 11-0-2; Traci Stewart 6-0-1; Megan McMahon 3-0-0; Lizzie West 0-1-0; Totals 59-4-6.0. (Assists) - Megan McMahon 42. (Dig leaders) - Ali Deatsch 19; Megan McMahon 14; Lizzie West 11; Lauren Copenhagen 8
Site: Elon, N.C. (Jordan Gym)
Date: Oct 08, 2010 Attend: 178 Time: 2:03
Referees: Dennis Branch, Ronnie Mutter
- UNCG -