The Gustavus volleyball team went 1-1, falling 3-2 to Colorado College and winning 3-2 over SUNY New Paltz, in the second day of competition at the Pikes Peak Challenge to finish in second place with a 3-1 record. Host school Colorado College, who entered the tournament ranked 13th in NCAA Division III according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Preseason Poll, won the tournament after going 4-0. The Pikes Peak Challenge was held over two days in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Sept. 2-3.
The Gusties fell 3-2 to Colorado College in what was a tightly contested match from start to finish. The Tigers took the first set 26-24 despite a three-point comeback by the Gusties at set point (24-21). CC took the momentum from the first set into set two, leading by as many as six points four times and winning 25-20.
Down 2-0, the Gusties came back with a big 25-16 win in the third set. Gustavus had 13 kills and just two errors for an attack percentage of .423 in the third. The fourth set went back and fourth early, as the score would be tied 11 times before the 15th point was reached. The Gusties made their run with the score knotted at 13-13, outscoring the Tigers 12-to-6 to win the set 25-19. Gustavus had match-high 16 kills in the fourth, making just two errors for a .438 attack percentage.
In the fifth and deciding set, it was CC taking the early advantage 10-4. Gustavus battled back with a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 11-9, but it would not be enough, as the Tigers would hold on for a 15-11 victory to take the match.
Angela Ahrendt led all attackers with a game-high 19 kills and four blocks (two solo). Olivia Warren and Emily Phillips also finished with double-figure kills as they each recorded 14 in the match. Warren finished with a double-double with 10 digs. Malea Noennig recorded 10 assists and 10 digs, while Florian tallied 22 assists and eight digs. Erin Sherman led the way on defense, turning in a game-high 23 digs. Jenna Legatt and Paige Breneman were also in double-digits with 12 and 11 digs, respectively.
In Gustavus’ final match of the tournament against SUNY New Paltz, it was the combination of Ahrendt and Phillips going to work on the attack, and Paige Breneman locking down on the defense. Both Ahrendt and Phillips recorded season-highs with 22 kills, while Breneman contributed a season-best 26 digs. Noennig had her best match of the tournament with a season-best 51 assists.
The match went to a fifth set with Gustavus winning sets one (25-20), three (25-20), and five (17-15) for the victory. The Hawks opened up a 9-3 lead in the opening set, yet Gustavus battled back to tie the game at 11-11 before going on a 9-to-3 run to go up 19-13. The Gusties would hold on for the five point win to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
SUNY New Paltz came back to win the second set by the score of 25-19 and tie the match at 1-1. The Hawks recorded 16 kills and made just four errors in the set.
The Gusties cruised in the third set, leading by as many as 10 points at 23-13. Gustavus had 17 kills and three errors in the set, recording an attack percentage of .400. Ahrendt and Phillips combined for 13 kills in the frame.
The fourth set went down to the wire, yet it was the Hawks coming away with a 25-23 win to send the match to a fifth set.
The score would be tied seven times with four lead changes in the fifth set. Despite making seven errors, the Gusties pulled out a 17-15 victory to take the match. Emily Phillips had a monster set, recording a match-high seven kills. Facing match point at 15-14, the Gusties rattled off three straight points for the win. Ahrendt put the match in the books on a kill from Olivia Warren to cap off the tournament.
Following the tournament, Gustavus’ Angela Ahrendt and Emily Phillips both earned a spot on the 2011 Molten Pikes Peak Challenge All-Tournament Team. Ahrendt finished the tournament with 67 kills and 12 blocks, averaging 3.94 kills per set with a .368 attack percentage. Emily Phillips tallied 56 kills (3.29 k/set) and 14 blocks with an attack percentage of .248.
2011 Molten Pikes Peak Challenge All-Tournament Team
MVP – Amy Schornack (Colorado College)
Kristen Liberty (Colorado College)
Devin Wilkinson (Colorado College)
Angela Ahrendt (Gustavus Adolphus College)
Emily Phillips (Gustavus Adohplus College)
Tamika Heline (Howard Payne University)
Kristin Hammond (Howard Payne University)
Melinda Di Giovann (SUNY New Paltz)
Megan Boschert (Westminster College)