St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team suffered an up-and-down 3-2 loss at the hands of Carleton College on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. The two squads traded sets before Carleton surged past the Gusties 15-12 in the fifth and deciding set to earn its second MIAC win of the season.
Gustavus drops to 7-9 overall and 1-3 in the MIAC, while Carleton improves to 12-4 overall and 2-2 in the MIAC.
Carleton built a 6-2 lead early in the opening set and didn’t look back. The Gusties would close the gap to two points on three occasions through the middle portion of the set before tying the score at 19-19 following a 3-0 run. The Knights answered with a 4-1 run of its own to bring the score to 23-20. A Gustavus attack error and a Jess Youso kill then gave Carleton the opening set 25-23.
The Gusties rebounded in the second set, hitting .273 within the frame for a 25-18 win to tie the match at 1-1. With the score knotted at 11-11, Gustavus went on a 5-1 run that put them up 16-12 following an ace by Lisa Beacher (Sr., Roseville, Minn.). The Gusties would hold on to the lead throughout the remainder of the set, going up 19-14 and 23-16 late. Emily Phillips (Sr. Cleveland, Minn.) connected on four kills down the stretch and Emily Gilman (So., Maple Grove, Minn.) put the set away with the final kill.
Carleton didn’t waste any time in the third set, going up 8-1 after scoring eight unanswered points. Knight hitter Sarah Nielsen recorded five kills within the run, as Carleton would extend its lead to 15-3 following a 7-1 run. Carleton gained a 2-1 advantage in the match after winning the third set 25-9.
Gustavus came out with a new sense of fire in the fourth set, trading points with Carleton until using a 5-1 run to grab a 13-9 lead. The Gusties continued to pour it on from there, going up 19-12 following a 6-2 scoring spree. Becca Woodstra (Fy., Minnetonka, Minn.) recorded three-straight kills inside the run, as Gustavus went on to send the match into a deciding fifth set after a 25-14 set four victory.
With the scored tied 2-2 in the fifth, Carleton took a four-point lead (6-2) after three Gustavus errors in a row. The Gusties brought the score to within two points at 6-4, but couldn’t close the gap. After Gustavus built some momentum with a late charge to bring the score to within two points at 14-12, a timeout by Carleton stymied the momentum and a kill by Sarah Nielsen brought the set to a final at 15-12.
Gustavus benefited from its most balance offensive performance of the season tonight, as Emily Phillips, Emily Gilman, and Becca Woodstra all finished with kills in the double-digits. Phillips led the way with a match-high 15 kills (.220), while Gilman (.161) and Woodstra (.125) both tallied 13. The Gusties hit .157 as a team and recorded seven blocks.
Carleton’s offense was led by Jessa Youso and Sarah Nielsen who each registered 13 kills. The Knights hit .151 and benefited from 11 Gustavus service errors in the match. On defense, four Carleton players contributed double-figure digs. Camille Benson led the way with 24, Ashley Shin had 15, Alicia Flat notched 14, and Chloe Nelson finished with 12.
The Gustavus volleyball team will look to get back on track this weekend when it embarks on its first MIAC back-to-back doubleheader on consecutive days. The Gusties will first travel to Arden Hills, Minn. to take on Bethel on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. They will then cap off the weekend on Saturday in Minneapolis against Augsburg at 5:00 p.m.