The Gustavus volleyball team saw its winning streak come to a halt on Saturday as the Gusties fell to undefeated University of North Dakota 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 14-25, 16-25) in St. Peter. It did not take long for Gustavus get back on the winning track as the Gusties defeated MIAC rival Carleton 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-22) in a non-conference contest later in the afternoon. Coach Eckheart’s squad improved to 10-1 heading into conference play on Wednesday, while North Dakota moved to 12-0 and Carleton fell to 3-6 overall.
The Gusties came out clicking on all cylinders, playing a nearly flawless first set against UND. Both squads were tied at 19-19 when Olivia Warren (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) put down a kill to give Gustavus a 20-19 lead. Two Fighting Sioux hitting miscues extended the Gusties’ lead to 22-19 before UND called a timeout. UND would sideout after a kill from Annika Smed to pull within 22-20, but three additional hitting errors from the Fighting Sioux gave Gustavus the first set 25-20.
Gustavus held a 5-4 lead in the second set before UND went on a 14-4 run for a 18-9 lead. The Gusties struggled on serve receive which led to hitting miscues and free balls for the opposing offense. The squads traded points before the Fighting Sioux took the second set 25-16. North Dakota finished the set hitting .323, while Gustavus hit -.028.
The third and fourth sets produced similar results as UND’s offense picked up to finish the match against the Gusties. Annika Smed triggered a 4-0 run to give the Fighting Sioux a 18-12 lead in the third set that Gustavus could not surmount. Amanda Polzin closed out the third set with the Fighting Sioux’s 15th kill of the set by the score of 25-14.
The Gusties held a 9-6 lead in the fourth set before a Britta Hanson kill jump-started another run for the Fighting Sioux as UND built a 19-10 lead. The Gusties put together a late charge with a 5-0 run at the end of the set, but the deficit proved to be too much as UND took the last set 25-16. The Fighting Sioux again tallied 15 kills in the set, as Gustavus finished with only five.
Meghan Gehring (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) was the only Gustie to reach double-digit kills with 10, as well as five blocks. Bridget Burtzel (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) dished out 28 assists. Four UND players finished with double-figure kills, led by Amanda Polzin with 15. Lindsay Vortherms tallied 25 digs, while Megan Langseth compiled 51 assists.
Gustavus shook off its’ first loss of the season when it took on Carleton. After an Angela Ahrendt (Fy., Shoreview, Minn.) kill, the Gusties ran off five points to take a 15-10 edge behind kills from Ahrendt and Olivia Warren. Gustavus extended its lead to 22-14 later in the set after Carleton hitting mistakes and a Meghan Gehring kill. Ahrendt sealed the set with two kills for Gustavus at 25-19.
The second set was extremely tense as both squads were tied seven times during the set. The Gusties led 22-19, but the Knights fought back to tie the set at 23-23 after kills from Sarah Kunelius, Kelly Lovett, and Sarah Halls. Carleton fought off two set points, but were unable to capitalize on two set points of its own as kills by Ahrendt and Bolm closed out the set for Gustavus at 30-28.
Tension continued into the third set as the score was knotted at 20-20 before Gustavus went on a 4-0 run. Carleton pulled within 24-22, but Olivia Warren ended the match with a kill down the line to give Gustavus the win. Three Gusties ended with double-figure kills, including Ahrendt with 14, Warren with 10, and Britta Bolm (Sr., Alexandria, Minn.) with 10. Nicki Ainsworth (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Burtzel led Gustavus with 15 digs each, while Burtzel amassed 41 assists. Megan La Chapelle paced Carleton with 13 kills and 23 digs.
Gustavus continues its’ homestand against Augsburg on Wednesday at 7 p.m as the Gusties open conference play.
North Dakota Box Score