The Golden Gustie volleyball team only needed 74 minutes to snap its three-match MIAC losing streak defeating St. Kate’s 3-0 (30-21, 30-20, 30-20) Wednesday night in St. Peter. Gustavus turned in its best hitting match of the season hitting .262 compared to .124 for St. Kate’s. Bridget Burtzel (Cold Spring, Minn.) dished out 45 assists, as Emily Klein (Red Wing, Minn.) compiled a match-high 21 digs. The Gusties improved to 15-6 overall and 3-3 in the MIAC, while St. Catherine falls to 9-13 overall and 1-6 in the MIAC.
Gustavus and St. Kate’s shifted momentum throughout game one with the Gusties holding a slim lead at 23-21 before Coach Eckheart’s squad rattled off seven straight points to win the game 30-21. Nicki Ainsworth (Eden Prairie, Minn.) contributed three kills, as Britta Bolm (Alexandria, Minn.) and Andrea Kron (Cold Spring, Minn.) each had two kills during the scoring run.
Eleven St. Kate’s hitting errors combined with 17 Gustie kills provided Gustavus with nearly all the points they would need to win game two 30-20.
Game three remained close in the early stages with the set tied 5-5 until Emily Klein stepped behind the service line. Gustavus went on a 10-0 run highlighted by three service aces by Klein to build a 15-5 lead the Wildcats would not be able to overcome. The Gusties went on to win the final game 30-20. St. Kate’s struggled to handle Gustavus serves in the set as six of the Gusties’ eight aces came during the set.
Maria Hoffman of St. Kate’s led all hitters with 16 kills, but no other Wildcat had more than five. Jen Thelemann (Le Sueur, Minn.) paced Gustavus with 15 kills followed by Meghan Gehring (Eau Claire, Wis.) with 13 and Kron with 11. Thelemann moved into eighth place on the all-time kills list at Gustavus with 1,086, surpassing Monica Lehner (1,075) and Liz Fell (1,078) during the match.
Gustavus will play Hamline in a crucial MIAC match Friday night at 7:00 pm in St. Paul.