For the second time in three games, the Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team hit over .300 to give the Gusties a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-20, 25-22) over Carleton College on Wednesday in St. Peter. Head coach Kari Eckheart’s squad recorded 47 kills and 12 errors en route to a .340 hitting percentage. With the win, Gustavus moved into a tie for fourth place in the MIAC standings with Carleton at 4-2. Gustavus improved to 16-3 overall, while the Knights fell to 7-8.
Carleton held a 4-1 lead in the first set before the Gusties went on a 13-3 run to pull ahead 14-7. The stretch was fueled by strong serving from Bridget Burtzel (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn./ROCORI) and Emily Klein (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.) and kills from five different Gustavus players. The Knights came within four points at 16-12 following a kill from Kelly Lovett, but a Meghan Gehring (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis./North) kill ended the Carleton rally as Gustavus took the first set 25-19.
The Gusties separated themselves from the Knights early in the second set when Klein recorded two service aces as part of a 6-0 rally to give Gustavus a 10-5 advantage. That streak proved to be the difference in the set as Coach Eckheart’s team won 25-20.
Carleton grabbed momentum right away in the third set as Erin Anderson stepped behind the service line. The Gustie serve receive had difficulty handling Anderson’s serves as the Knights built a 9-5 lead. Gustavus chipped away at the deficit until both teams were knotted at 20-20. The Gusties held a slim lead at 22-21 when Nicki Ainsworth (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Britta Bolm (Sr., Alexandria, Minn./Jefferson), and Gehring deflected hits off of the Knight blockers for kills to close out the match at 25-22.
Meghan Gehring and Olivia Warren paced Gustavus with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Bridget Burtzel distributed 40 assists amongst all five hitters, while Emily Klein tallied a game-high 20 digs. The Gusties aggressive serve kept the Knights’ offense out of sync for most of the match as Gustavus had nine service aces. Carleton was led offensively by Sarah Halls at 12 kills, and Beth Jarrett posted 32 assists. No Knight player registered more than nine digs.
Gustavus will take part in the MIAC-IIAC Border Battle hosted by Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa on Friday and Saturday.