ELON, N.C. – The University of Delaware volleyball team held a pair of match points in the fifth set, but Elon responded to win the final three points of the contest as the Phoenix edged the Blue Hens, 3-2, in a five-set marathon Saturday night at Alumni Gym.

Elon, which improved to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association, captured the match by set scores of 25-20, 24-26, 25-13, 23-25, 17-15. Delaware dropped to 3-9 overall and is also 1-1 in league play.

Maria Bellinger enjoyed another outstanding night for the Blue Hens, as she finished with a match-high 23 kills to go with 19 digs and four blocks. Brooke Robertson established career-bests with 15 kills and 12 digs, while Courtnie Roberts also set her career-highs by posting 32 assists and 18 digs.

Julia Hayes recorded a career-best nine blocks for the second consecutive match, while Maddie Judge led UD with 21 digs and Abby Skryd contributed 16 assists.

Sydney Busa paced Elon with 20 kills and 19 digs, while Kam Terry added 18 kills and 15 digs.

After dropping the opening set, Delaware trailed 24-22 in the second frame but countered with four straight points, the final two on Robertson kills, to even the match at a set apiece. The Phoenix easily took the third set and was up 22-20 in the fourth, but the Blue Hens then won five of the next six points to force the deciding stanza.

Delaware trailed by as many as four points in the final set, but rallied to earn match points at 14-13 and 15-14. However Elon answered by winning the last three points to pull out the victory.

HEAD COACH SARA MATTHEWS
"We definitely had our chances to close out the match and let them back in. We did a great job fighting really hard for stretches, we just need to maintain that type of defensive effort for a whole match. I thought our block game was really big when we needed it. Julia (Hayes) had a great match defensively. We also had some other people step in and play really poised. Kori (Rasmussen) came in, served tough and dug some balls to extend rallies and put us in situations to win. Courtnie (Roberts) came in and ran a five-one and did a great job distributing the ball. When you have chances to steal road matches you have to capitalize on them. We are looking forward to being home this week after traveling for five straight weeks. We need our Blue Hen nation to come out and support us!"

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Delaware has played five sets in four of its last five matches
• Bellinger has slammed at least 20 kills in four of the last five contests
• Bellinger notched her third double-double of the year, while Robertson and Roberts each posted their second
• The Blue Hens lost for the first time in four matches at Alumni Gym and are now 5-2 all-time vs. Elon
• Delaware was looking for its first 2-0 start in CAA play since the 2009 season
• UD finally opens its home schedule on Friday by hosting Northeastern at the Bob Carpenter Center

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
• Delaware vs. *Northeastern – Friday, September 29 (5 p.m.)
• Delaware vs. *Hofstra – Sunday, October 1 (1 p.m.)
• Delaware at *UNCW – Friday, October 6 (7 p.m.)

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Tritt | ktritt@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8715 | Cell: 302-383-5005