After a slow start, the Gustavus volleyball team snapped its three match losing streak by defeating #21-Central 3-1 at the IIAC-MIAC Border Battle in Indianola, Iowa. The Gusties pushed Simpson to the five-game limit, but fell short losing 3-2. Seniors Jen Thelemann and Andrea Kron carried the offensive load for Gustavus combining for 68 kills in both matches. Bridget Burtzel tallied 98 assists and 36 digs to lead the Gusties in both categories. Gustavus moves to 12-6 overall on the season.
The afternoon started on a high note as Gustavus knocked off #21-Central by the scores 19-30, 30-23, 30-28, and 30-26. Seniors Jen Thelemann (Le Sueur, Minn.) and Andrea Kron led the offensive attack with 19 kills and 13 kills, respectively. Bridget Burtzel (Cold Spring, Minn.) posted a double-double with 46 assists and 17 digs in the match. Andrea Smilanich (South St. Paul, Minn.) had a team-high 20 digs. Coach Eckheart’s team outblocked Central 13-8.
The evening match turned into a marathon as Gustavus fell to host Simpson by the scores of 30-28, 20-30, 26-30, 30-27, and 11-15. Four Gusties finished with double-digit kills, including Thelemann with 20, Kron with 16, Meghan Gehring (Eau Claire, Wis.) with 12, and Nicki Ainsworth (Eden Prairie, Minn.). Burtzel posted 52 assists with 19 digs for team-highs in both categories. The deciding statistic was comparison of hitting percentage as Gustavus hit .157, while Simpson hit .188.
Gustavus will continue action tomorrow morning at 9:00 am against Coe College, followed by Buena Vista at 1:30 pm.