2006: Elena had 292 assists in 2006 which was second on the team. She had 36 kills and 88 digs on the season. Her best match of the season came against Tennessee with 30 assists and four kills. Xavier was her best non-conference match with 29 assists and four kills.
2005:"Pil" had 21 digs against Florida in the Sweet Sixteen match in 2005. She had 23 assists and seven digs against Maryland in the NCAA second round. Against WKU in the first round of the NCAAs, she had two aces, 10 digs and 29 assists. She earned All-Green & Orange Classic honors in Miami. Elena had season-high 13 kills versus Xavier and had season-high five aces at DePaul. She had 50 assists against South Florida and scored a rare a triple/double with 13 kills, 26 assists and 11 digs against Xavier.
2004: As a freshman, Elena was a starting setter for the Cardinals along with Jennifer Craven. She played in 110 games and recorded 91 kills, hitting .278. A strong blocker, Pilnikova had seven solo and 69 block assists. She recorded 101 digs. She had a season high six kills against Southern Miss and a season-high 45 assists against Virginia. She was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Her athleticism and leaping make her explosive on both offense and defense.
High School: She played four years in high school and was coached by Ivars Sprancis and Maria Senina. She also played internationally in beach volleyball.
Honors: 2005 All-Green & Orange Classic; 2004 C-USA All-Freshman Team
Personal: Daughter of Irina and Igor Pilnikova. Born January 4, 1986. Major is marketing. Favorites Hobbies: Cooking; Class: Biology; Movies: The Last Samurai; Musical Group: The Bennasi Brothers; Book: The Alchemist; Volleyball players: Evgenia Artomonova; Food: Italian, Japanese; Persons with biggest influence on athletic career: Dad; My advice to youngsters: Work hard and you will reach your goal; Post College Ambition: To play professional volleyball; Best Part About Being an Athlete: Being strong both mentally and physically; Words that describe me: easy- going, communicative, hard-working.