The Golden Gustie volleyball team had its up and down moments in a 3-1 (30-19, 29-31, 30-14, 32-30) victory against Bethany Lutheran in Mankato Friday night. Gustavus dictated play in games one and three, while momentum shifted in the Vikings favor for game two and the majority of game four. Jennifer Thelemann (Le Sueur, Minn.) paced all hitters with 22 kills, while chipping in nine digs. Bridget Burtzel (Cold Spring, Minn.) added 54 assists and 16 digs.
The Gusties had a .313 hitting percentage on 20 kills and five errors to help the offense get warmed up in game one. Gustavus also used a 7-2 run halfway through the first game to win 30-19.
Game two was tightly contested with neither team able to put together any large scoring runs. Coach Eckheart’s squad held a 27-24 lead when Bethany Lutheran called a timeout. The Vikings then went on a ensuing 4-0 run for a 28-27 lead they would not relinquish winning 31-29.
Several sideouts began play in game three until Andrea Smilanich (South St. Paul, Minn.) and Emily Klein (Red Wing, Minn.) stepped behind the service line. The two service rotations went on a 16-2 run Gustavus would capitalize on finishing game three 30-14.
Bethany held a 27-23 edge in game four before the Gusties fought back to win on an ace by Smilanich 32-30.
Gustavus will continue MIAC play Wednesday, September 19 against St. Olaf at 7:00 pm.