Minneapolis – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team improved to 5-3 on the season after going 1-1 on the final day of competition at the Augsburg College Invitational held Friday and Saturday in Si Melby Hall. The Gusties began the day with a 3-0 loss to UW-Stevens Point, yet bounced back later in the morning with a 3-2 victory over Northwestern.
The Gusties struggled to get anything going in their opening match against the Pointers, dropping three-straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-14, and 25-19. Gustavus turned in a team attack percentage of .110 and were led on the offensive by first-year Kelle Nett (Spring Valley, Ill.) who had eight kills (.200) in the match.
Paige Breneman (So., Sherburn, Minn.) led the Gusties with 15 digs, while Kendra Weege (So., Watertown, Minn.) delegated 17 set assists. The Black and Gold also matched its season-high in the blocks category with 10.
Head Coach Rachelle Dosch’s squad turned things around and came out firing on all cylinders in their final match of the tournament against Nortwestern. The Gusties grabbed an early 2-0 lead after winning 25-23 in set one and 25-21 in set two. The Eagles would not go down quietly and bounced back with wins in sets three (25-14) and four (25-16) to tie the match at 2-2. The Gusties dug deep in the final set of the weekend, edging Northwestern 17-15 to take the match 3-2 – their third five-set victory of the season.
Rookie Becca Woodstra (Minnetonka, Minn.) proved to be a force at the net throughout the match, turning in a match-high 16 kills, a hitting percentage of .382, and 14 digs to boot. Woodstra’s performance was her best of the season as she recorded season-bests in both kills and attack percentage.
Senior Emily Phillips (Cleveland, Minn.) was also a presence on the attack, finishing with 12 kills and hitting at a .286 rate.
Three Gustie back row players finished with double-figure digs, the most so far this season. To go along with Woodstra’s 14, Paige Breneman tallied 20, while senior Lisa Beacher (Roseville, Minn.) contributed 13. Kendra Weege and sophomore Taylor Meurer (Nicollet, Minn.) shared setting responsibilities, as Weege finished the 22 sets assists and Meurer had 17.
Gustavus first-year Kelle Nett was selected to the Augsburg Invitational All-Tournament Team following play on Sunday night. Consistent at the net throughout the weekend, Nett finished with 34 kills, an attack percentage of .193, and 13 blocks.
The Gustavus volleyball team will now switch out of tournament mode as it gears up for the opening of MIAC play on Wednesday. The Gusties will host St. Thomas in their home-opener on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.