After playing eight consecutive home games, the 22nd-ranked Gustavus volleyball team continued its winning ways with victories on the road over St. Scholastica 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-15) and Northwestern 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19) in St. Paul on Saturday. Angela Ahrendt (Fy., Shoreview, Minn.), Janey Helland (So., Mapleton, Minn.), and Olivia Warren (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) led a balanced offensive attack as they combined to finish with over 20 kills each in both contests. Head coach Kari Eckheart’s squad moved to 13-1 overall.
Gustavus and St. Scholastica began the first set tied at 4-4 before the Gusties used a 9-3 run to take a 13-7 lead. The run was fueled by a pair of kills by Janey Helland and three kills from Angela Ahrendt. The squads traded points as Gustavus took the first set 25-19.
St. Scholastica held a 19-14 lead when Eckheart called her second timeout of the set to regroup the team. The timeout worked as Gustavus scored seven of the next ten points to even the set at 22-22. The Gusties fought off three set points before a kill from Warren and two Saint hitting miscues gave Gustavus the set at 30-28.
The Gusties overcame an early 3-1 deficit to go on a 10-1 run after a series of St. Scholastica mistakes for an 11-4 lead. The Saints pulled to within six points at 21-15, but Gustavus would score the next four points after three St. Scholastica hitting errors and a kill from Angela Ahrendt to win the set and the match.
Four Gustavus hitters finished with over eight kills, as Bridget Burtzel (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) recorded 36 assists on 42 team kills. Defensively, Emily Klein (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.) led the way with 23 digs and Meghan Gehring (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) added one solo block and four block assists.
In the match against Northwestern, the Eagle offense came out firing in the first set as they hit .318 after 15 kills and one error compared to a hitting percentage of .136 for the Gusties. Northwestern won the set 25-16 after Gustavus committed three hitting errors to end the set.
Both squads experienced scoring runs in the second set before they found themselves tied at 21-21. Gustavus scored three points following three Eagle errors for a 24-21 lead. Northwestern pulled to within 24-23 before Helland closed out the set for the Gusties with a kill.
Gustavus scored seven straight points in the third set behind three service aces from Jenny Ewert (So., St. James, Minn.) for a 14-5 advantage as the Gusties never looked back. Kills from Warren and Ahrendt sealed the set 25-18.
The fourth set produced similar results for Gustavus as the team put together scoring runs when it needed to to win the fourth set 25-19. The decisive run came with the Gusties holding a 20-18 lead. Gustavus won five of the next six points to record its 13th win of the season.
Offensively, four Gusties tallied double-digit kills, including Ahrendt with 14, Warren and Helland with 12, and Britta Bolm (Sr., Alexandria, Minn.) with 10. Burtzel posted her 11th double-double of the season with 50 assists and 14 digs. Emily Klein amassed 30 digs in the winning effort.
Gustavus resumes MIAC competition against St. Olaf in Northfield on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before playing Hamline in St. Peter on Saturday at 3 p.m.