ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball and head coach Mary Tendler announced the program’s 2021 fall schedule on Wednesday, Aug. 4. The Phoenix is slated to play 26 matches during the regular season, to include 11 at Schar Center.
“We will have 16 days to prepare for a very tough non-conference schedule,” Tendler said. “I feel like each team will test us in a slightly different way which will help us when it comes to facing our conference opponents.”
Elon opens its fall 2021 campaign at the Virginia Tech Invitational on Aug. 27-28. The maroon and gold opens the tournament with a 10 a.m. match against Toledo that Friday, then plays again that evening with a 5 p.m. meeting with Lehigh. The Phoenix rounds out the trip with a 3 p.m. tilt against the Hokies that Saturday at 3 p.m. Elon wraps up the month with a 6:30 p.m. match at Duke on Aug. 31 before rounding out the road swing with 7 p.m. matches at Presbyterian on Sept. 3 and at Furman on Sept. 4.
This year’s home opener sees Charlotte coming to Schar Center for a 6 p.m. contest on Sept. 8. Elon and N.C. A&T then host the Aggie/Phoenix Volley for Unity tournament on Sept. 10-11. The Phoenix opens with a 6 p.m. match against UNC Asheville on Friday, while A&T hosts N.C. Central at 6 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C. Saturday’s action features a 12 p.m. meeting between Mercer and A&T, a 3 p.m. game between UNC Asheville and NCCU, and a 6 p.m. match between Elon and Mercer. The Phoenix then rounds out its non-conference portion of the schedule at North Carolina on Sept. 14 with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m.
In league play, Elon travels to Charleston on Sept. 17-18 before hosting Delaware on Sept. 25-26 for Family Weekend. The team then heads to Towson on Oct. 2-3 before returning home to play James Madison on Oct. 9-10 and UNCW on Oct. 16-17. The final road swing of the regular season sees the Phoenix at Northeastern on Oct. 23-24 and at William & Mary on Oct. 30-31. Elon then rounds out its schedule at home versus Hofstra on Nov. 5-6 for Homecoming Weekend.
Two-time defending CAA champion Towson will host the Conference Championship Tournament on Nov. 18-21 at SECU Arena, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to get back to a 16-match conference schedule,” added Tendler. “The competition in the CAA will be strong, but we will be ready for that challenge. We have experienced players returning at each position and our newcomers will find ways to contribute. We can’t wait to get started next week!”
The Phoenix has 13 returners this fall, including the CAA Player of the Year and an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention in Leah Daniel. Jordan Gower looks to continue her success after earning All-CAA Second Team honors this past spring, Julia Crabtree and team co-captain Natalie Cummins are back for a fifth year, and co-captain Haylie Clark enters her senior year. Jenn Krzeminski led the maroon and gold at the net with 32 blocks, and Alex VanWestrienen served a team-high 17 aces. Elon also welcomes three newcomers in Sydney Love, Lily Barker and Caroline Doyle.