The Gustavus volleyball team opened the 30th annual Augsburg Invite with a 3-0 win over UW-Eau Claire and a narrow 3-2 loss to Saint Benedict on Friday in Minneapolis. The Gusties, who move to 4-2 on the season, will face #24 St. Scholastica tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. to start the final day of the tournament.
In the early afternoon match against UW-Eau Claire, Gustavus’ Angela Ahrendt led the way on the attack with a match-high 13 kills (.273 a/pct). It was fifth consecutive match that Ahrendt led the team in kills. Malea Noennig dished out 27 assists, while Paige Breneman and Shelby Nosan led the Gusties with 16 and 10 digs, respectively.
Gustavus cruised to the 3-0 sweep of the Blugolds by scores of 25-19, 25-20, and 26-24. The win was Gustavus’ second sweep of the season.
Against conference opponent Saint Benedict in a non-conference match, the Gusties battled to the end of a back-and-forth affair, falling 15-8 in the fifth set to drop the match.
Gustavus defeated the Blazers 25-22 in the first set and 25-21 in set three. Saint Ben’s took set two (25-19) and set four (27-25) before taking the fifth and deciding set. Ben’s hit on all cylinders in the fifth, recording 12 kills and an attack percentage of .450.
Entering the tournament, Head Coach Rachelle Dosch talked about her players being ready to play when their names were called. Jessica Grill did just that in the nightcap. The rookie recorded a season and game-high 18 kills (3.64 a/pct) to lead the team. The Gusties finished with three players in double-figure kills in Ahrendt (11) and Olivia Warren (14). Warren provided a double-double in the match by tallying a season-high 17 digs. Paige Brenneman led the team with 24 digs, and Noennig notched 47 assists.
The Blazers finished the night with four attackers with double-figure kills in Lexi Aim (16), Alexa Rinde (13), CHelsie Sobieck (13), and Shannon Bassett (12). Chelsea Rachel led all defensive specialists with a game-high 36 digs.
Fifth and seventh place matches are slated for 1:00 p.m tomorrow afternoon, while the third place match and championship will begin at 3:00 p.m.