The Gustavus volleyball team swept Hamline 3-0 (30-25, 30-19, 30-25) in its Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener in St. Peter on Wednesday night. The Gusties improve to 8-3 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while Hamline falls to 6-4 overall and 0-1 in the MIAC. Sophomore setter Bridget Burtzel (Cold Spring, Minn.) turned in a strong all-around performance with 33 set assists, 16 digs, 2 total blocks and 3 kills.
In game one, the two teams stayed close early and a kill by Hamline’s Shelby Hyllengren (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) made the score 7-6 in favor of Gustavus. The Gusties, however reeled off nine of the next 10 points to take a commanding 16-7 lead. Hamline cut the lead back to five at 27-22, but Gustavus closed out the game at 30-25 on a kill by Becca Thompson (Mankato, Minn./West). Jennifer Thelemann (Jr., LeSueur, Minn.) recorded five kills in the opening game, while Thompson added four.
In game two, Hamline jumped out to a 9-1 lead, but Gustavus rallied to score 10 of the next 12 points to pull within one of the Pipers’ at 10-11. The Gusties would take their first lead at 15-14 on a service ace by Rachelle Jakobs (Sr., Montevideo, Minn.). Gustavus would then take charge of the game by winning 15 of the final 19 points and claim the 30-19 victory in game two. Jakobs recorded two service aces in the game, while Andrea Kron (Jr., Cold Spring, Minn.) knocked down five kills.
In game three, Hamline once again got off to a quick start and led 5-0, and once again the Gusties charged right back to tie the score at 5-5. Hamline took a 13-10 lead on back-to-back kills by Hyllengren, however Gusties rallied to score the next five points and take the lead for good at 15-13. A kill by first year middle hitter Danielle Gimmestad (Marshall, Minn.) gave Gustavus its biggest lead of the final game at 24-18. Hamline closed to within three at 27-24, but the Gusties scored three of the next five points to win game three 30-25 and close out the match.
The Gustavus attack was very balanced as Kron led the way with 10 kills, followed by Thompson, Thelemann, Jessica Plemel (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.), and Gimmestad with nine kills each. Burtzel and Plemel each recorded 16 digs, while Emily Klein (So., Red Wing, Minn.) tallied 11 digs.
Hamline was led by Dana Luiken (Sr., Chatfield, Minn.) with 13 kills and Hyllengren tallied nine. Jenna Witt (Sr., Champlin, Minn.) led the defense with 14 digs.
The Gusties will play their third home match of the week on Friday when they host Bethany Lutheran College at 7:00 pm at Gus Young Court.