Bulldog Spikers Fall to Elon in Season Finale
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel volleyball team completed its 2012 season on Saturday as the team recognized the careers of seniors Emily Dalton, Rachael Farrell, Jessica Maxwell and Cassie Uribe. However, it was Elon that got the best of the Bulldogs, as the Phoenix emerged with a 25-19, 25-12, 25-19 victory at McAlister Field House.
The Bulldogs (6-28, 0-16 SoCon) were led offensively by Maxwell and Amanda Rudnik, who finished with six kills apiece. Teammate Ise d'Angelo added five, to go along with nine digs, but The Citadel struggled to find its offensive rhythm with only 23 team kills. Meanwhile, on defense, Erin Bucherl guided the way with 12 digs and following d'Angelo's nine were four players with five each.
Chanelle Smith's 10 kills and .375 hitting percentage led a well-balanced Elon lineup, as 10 players finished with at least one kill. Teammate Megan Gravley was among those with multiple kills, finishing with nine on the evening. The Phoenix (16-15, 9-7 SoCon) notched 43 kills as a team and posted a .202 hitting percentage. The combination of Ali Deatsch (27 digs) and Ana Nicksic (34 assists) also had solid performances for Elon, as the Phoenix finished second in the Southern Conference's North Division.
The Citadel fell behind early in the opening set, but behind kills from Maxwell, Uribe and d'Angelo remained within striking distance at 10-8. It was there that Elon's Kris Harris rattled off six consecutive points in serve, opening a 16-8 lead, which was halted by a series of Maxwell kills. Leading by four in the latter stages of the match, Deatsch sent a pair of service aces past the Cadet defense to make for a 20-14 margin. The two teams traded points down the stretch, but it was two kills by Carly Ledbetter that proved to be the difference, 25-19.
Elon again gained the early lead in the set, jumping out to a 6-2 advantage on a kill by Kris Harris. Following a Farrell kill and two points in serve by Maxwell, The Citadel trimmed the margin to one, 6-5. Two points later, with Chelsea Rafetto in serve, the Phoenix scored five unanswered to assume a 12-5 lead. The Bulldogs pulled within seven on only two other occasions throughout the remainder of the game, as three kills by Gravley and two each from Celia Eddy and Chanelle Smith provided the 25-12 margin.
Sensing the opportunity to close out the match, Elon took advantage of the service game of Maggie Reichard and three kills by Chanelle Smith, as the Phoenix established the early 10-2 lead. Citadel kills by Rudnick, d'Angelo and Lauren Hurt drew Dogs within six, 13-7, but Elon maintained its six-point lead. The Cadets made one final surge at the Phoenix, taking advantage of a kills by Rudnik and Farrell, along with a pair of unforced errors, trimming the margin to 22-18. But, it was a pair of attack errors and a Ledbetter ace that clinched the 25-19 Elon win.
For more information on Bulldog volleyball visit the official source of Citadel athletics at www.citadelsports.com.