Riding the coattails of the squad’s top two hitters Angela Ahrendt and Emily Phillips, the Gustavus volleyball team picked up a 3-1 victory in the regular season finale over Saint Mary’s on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. Ahrendt and Phillips each recorded 19 kills – a season high for Phillips and Ahrendt’s second-best total of the year – while combining for an attack percentage of .411.
Gustavus finishes the regular season with an overall record of 20-9 and a MIAC mark of 7-4, while the Cardinals end their season with an overall record of 16-14 and a MIAC record of 3-8. It is Gustavus’ first 20-win season since the Gusties went 26-5 in 2008.
The Gusties opened up an early lead in the first set and held on late for a 25-18 win. They led by as many as 11 points at 17-6 after a 13-2 run in which Saint Mary’s made seven errors.
Saint Mary’s used a mid-set 7-3 run to take a five-point lead at 17-12 in the second. Gustavus battled back to tie the set at 20-20 and take a 21-20 lead following an ace by Olivia Warren. The score would be tied on four occasions after Warren’s ace. After Ahrendt knotted the score at 24-24, the Gusties picked up a point off a Gustavus attack error before feeding Ahrendt for the set-winning kill at 26-24.
Leading 2-0 in the match, Gustavus found itself down late in the third set, trailing by as many as five points (19-14) at one point. The Gusties were able to claw their way back into the set for the second time, cutting the Cardinal lead to 21-19 and 22-20. Saint Mary’s was able to shut the down the comeback this time however, scoring three straight points to win the set 25-20 and cut the lead to 2-1 in the match.
Despite trailing 8-3 early in the fourth, the Gusties used their largest scoring-run of the match (12-1) to grab a 15-9 edge. Emily Phillips had three kills within the run, while Ahrendt served eight-straight points. Saint Mary’s would not go quietly into the off-season, coming back within a point at 19-18 and 20-19. Gustavus scored five of the last seven points to take the set 25-21 and win the match 3-1. Emily Phillips had a big third set with seven kills within the frame.
Head Coach Rachelle Dosch was pleased with consistency shown by her middle and outside hitters throughout the match. The Gusties recorded 59 kills and a team attack percentage of .255.
Coach Dosch thought Malea Noennig managed and set another smart contest. Noennig finished with 48 assists, her second-highest total of the season, and seven digs.
The Gusties had four players tally double-digit digs in the match. Shelby Nosan led the way with a team-high 17 digs, Erin Sherman and Paige Breneman recorded 12, and Katie Ness finished with 11.
Saint Mary’s Mary Nordick and Kara Grant provided team-highs of 11 kills each, while Megan Schulz led the Cardinals with a match-high 18 digs.
Gustavus finishes fifth in the conference standings and will travel to Saint Benedict on Tuesday, Nov. 1 for the first round of the MIAC Playoffs. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. in St. Joseph, Minn.
It was Senior Day at Gus Young Court this afternoon as four Gustavus volleyball seniors were honored for their hard work and commitment to the program for the past four years. The Gustavus Athletic Department extends another thank you to seniors Angela Ahrendt, Katie Ness, Olivia Warren, and Malea Noennig.