After recording 3-1 victories over the College of St. Scholastica and Viterbo University, the Gustavus volleyball team claimed first place at the Gustavus Classic in St. Peter on Saturday. The Gusties’ 8-0 overall record is the program’s best start since 1984 when Gustavus began the season at 20-0. Bridget Burtzel (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) and Emily Klein (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.) were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts over the weekend.
Gustavus defeated St. Scholastica in a tightly contested, four-set match by the scores of 26-24, 23-25, 25-22, and 25-22. Both teams were so evenly matched that the last two sets featured a combined total of 25 ties and 12 lead changes. Meghan Gehring (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) and Angela Ahrendt (Fy., Shoreview, Minn.) finished with 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Emily Klein again led the Gusties defensively with 36 digs. Bridget Burtzel moved into third place on the all-time Gustavus assist list during the match with 2,794 career assists, surpassing Kerrie Urosevich’s total of 2,768.
The last match of the day decided the winner of the tournament as Gustavus and Viterbo entered the contest unbeaten in tournament play. The Gusties prevailed 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, and 25-17 over the V-Hawks en route to the first place finish. Viterbo took the third set after hitting 14 kills and only seven errors for a .143 hitting percentage, while Gustavus ended the set hitting .000. The Gusties got back on track in the fourth set as they hit .263 and forcing Viterbo to post more hitting errors than kills. Olivia Warren (Fy., Goodhue, Minn.) posted a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs. Three other players compiled double-digit digs, including Klein with 17, Burtzel with 10, and Andrea Smilanich (Sr., South St. Paul, Minn.) with 10.
Viterbo finished with a 3-1 record in round-robin play, while UW-La Crosse was 2-2, St. Scholastica went 1-3, and Martin Luther went 0-4. Other members of the all-tournament team included Missy Glenna and Jenna Lau of Viterbo, Nina Walch and Brianne Stankus of UW-La Crosse, Emily Rasmussen of Martin Luther, and Shawna Varichak of St. Scholastica.
Gustavus will look to extend its winning streak against Bethany Lutheran on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in St. Peter.