The Gustavus volleyball team started the season right by knocking off #18 UW-Eau Claire 3-0 and UW-Stout 3-0 Friday at the UW-Eau Claire Labor Day Tournament. Sophomore Meghan Gehring (Eau Claire, Wisc.) paced the Gusties with a total of 20 kills in the first day of tournament play. Junior Emily Klein (Red Wing, Minn.) contributed 64 digs in the winning effort, while junior Bridget Burtzel (Cold Spring, Minn.) dished out 63 assists.
Gustavus opened the day by upsetting #18 UW-Eau Claire 3-0 (30-24, 30-23, 32-30). Coach Eckheart’s squad showed their defensive toughness by outdigging the Blugolds 87-45 and outblocking them 10-3. Klein and Burtzel led the way with 29 and 20 digs, respectively. Senior Jennifer Thelemann (Le Sueur, Minn.) contributed 11 kills to the cause, as Gehring put down 10 kills and senior Andrea Kron (Cold Spring, Minn.) added nine. Junior Britta Bolm (Alexandria, Minn.) recorded 3.5 blocks, and Burtzel tallied 32 assists.
The evening matchup produced similar results as Gustavus swept UW-Stout 3-0 (30-16, 30-25, 30-22). Gehring led the Gusties with 10 kills, while first-year Nikki Ainsworth (Eden Prairie, Minn.) added nine. Defense was once again the theme as Eckheart’s group finished with 94 digs when compared to UW-Stout’s 79, as three Gusties reached double-digits digs. Klein had 35 digs, followed by Burtzel with 15, and Ainsworth with 11.
Gustavus will play UM-Morris at 12:00 and wrap up against UW-River Falls at 2:00 Saturday.