St. Peter, Minn. - Using its best start of the season, the Gustavus volleyball team defeated Concordia College 3-2 on Friday night on Gus Young Court. After Gustavus grabbed a 2-0 lead by taking sets one and two by the scores of 25-22 and 25-23, respectively, Concordia answered with a 25-16 win in set three and a 25-20 win in set four to tie the match at 2-2. The Gusties used a late four point swing to take the lead in the fifth and decisive set, holding on to the momentum to edge the Cobbers 17-15 and win the match.
Gustavus improves to 9-16 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC with the win, while Concordia drops to 10-9 overall and 5-3 in the MIAC with the loss.
“We’ve never started that strong in a match before. Winning the first two was huge for us,” said Head Coach Rachelle Dosch. “We had a sense of confidence about us tonight that we just haven’t had in a lot of our previous matches. We had a nothing to lose attitude and played like it through most of the match.”
The first set got off to a back-and-forth start with both Gustavus and Concordia trading early leads. After two straight kills by Angie Waller that put the Cobbers up 12-10, Gustavus went on a 7-0 run to take a 17-12 lead. Lauren Schlobohm (Fy., Faribault, Minn.) was the go-to hitter inside the run, recording three kills.
Concordia would slowly chip away at the Gustie lead, closing the gap to one point at 21-20. From there, Gustavus scored four of the next six points to win the set 25-22 and grab a 1-0 lead in the match.
In what was another tightly-contested set in the second, Gustavus led the entire way. Gustavus’ lead lingered between one and three points for much of the set until Gusties began to pull away during the middle portion, going up 17-13 and 19-15. Down 20-16, Concordia scored four straight points to tie the set at 20-20. The two squads traded points before Gustavus used a kill by Schlobohm and an attack error by Olivia Wangensteen to edge the Cobbers 25-23 and go up 2-0.
With an 11-8 lead in the third set, Gustavus looked to be headed for its second MIAC sweep of the season. Concordia would not go quietly into the night, as a Kyndyl Ross kill sparked a 14-4 run that saw the Cobbers on top 22-16. Concordia went on to cut Gustavus’ lead to 2-1 following a 25-16 win in the third.
With a 12-11 lead in the fourth set, the Cobbers used a 5-0 run to go up 17-11. Down 23-16, the Gusties showed a lot of guts at the end of the match, scoring five of six points to trail 24-20 before Shelby Bommersbach put the set away (25-20) with the final kill.
Commenting on her squad’s performance at the end of the fourth set, Dosch stated, “That fight at the end of the set really gave us the energy we needed heading into the fifth. Even though we were down by a lot, we didn’t give up. “
The fifth got off to a bleak start for the Black and Gold, as Concordia would lead by three points on two occasions (7-4, 12-9). Back-to-back kills by Schlobohn cut the lead to 12-11 and Gustavus used three straight errors by Concordia to take a 14-12 edge. Concordia responded to Gustavus’ lead by tying the score on two occasions (14-14, 15-15). The Gusties put the set away with a kill by Sarah Schuetz (Fy., Eagan, Minn.) and another by Emily Phillips (Sr., Cleveland, Minn.).
The Gustavus offense was led by Schlobohm and Phillips who combined for 31 of Gustavus’ 51 kills. The rookie hit .255 with 18 kills, while the senior hit .306 with 13 kills. It is the third straight match that Schlobohm has finished with an attack percentage of over .250 and double figure kills. Gustavus finished with a team attack percentage of .141 compared to Concordia’s .152.
“Emily got back on track tonight and we got another good hitting performance from Lauren. Not a lot of standout performances tonight, but a lot of solid ones – that’s what the difference was,” Dosch said.
Coach Dosch was especially happy with her team’s blocking performance this evening, stating, “We were good defensively and we had out best blocking performance of the season. That was huge and it is what set the tone for a good defensive night.”
The Gustavus volleyball team will be back on Gus Young Court for the final time of the 2012 season tomorrow, taking on Saint Benedict at 3:00 p.m.
“It was a great gym environment tonight and everyone fed off that. Our seniors led the way with great energy and, unlike some previous games, we just found a way to get it done when we had to.”