St. Peter, Minn. – It was home sweet home on Gus Young Court for the Gustavus volleyball team on Friday, as the Gusties played their best volleyball of the season thus far on the opening day of the 2013 Gustavus Invitational. Head Coach Rachelle Sheden’s team defeated UW-River Falls 3-1 before sweeping Central College 3-0 to go 2-0 and extend their winning-streak to three games. Gustavus will head into the final day of the tournament with an overall record of 4-6.
Gustavus vs. UW-River Falls Recap
In their first match of the day, the Gusties were pitted up against a UW-River Falls club that entered the tournament on an eight-match winning-streak. After Gustavus took the first set by the score of 25-19, UW-River Falls bounced back with a 25-15 win in set two. The Gusties answered with a 25-22 win in the third and a 25-18 victory in the fourth to take the match 3-1.
Gustavus’s offense was led by Kelly Nett (So., Spring Valley, Ill.) and Alyssa Taylor (Jr., Trimont, Min.). Nett recorded a team-best 10 kills with an attack percentage of .217, and Taylor posted nine kills with an attack percentage of .167.
The Falcon offensive was led by Hali Tasler who hit the floor with a match-high 13 kills (.370).
Gustavus hit .139 and registered 36 kills as a team compared to UW-River Falls who had 38 kills and hit .150. The Black and Gold finished with a match-high 13 aces, four of which came from Becca Woodstra (So., Minnetonka, Minn.).
Gustavus vs. Central Recap
The Gusties used their most impressive offensive performance of the season to sweep Central 3-0 in the nightcap. Gustavus hit at a .330 clip to win by set scores of 25-5, 25-20, and 25-16.
Leading the charge at the net was Janessa Jahnke (Fy., Blue Earth, Minn.) who tallied a season/match-best 16 kills. The rookie hit at a .556 attack rate after making just one attack error all evening. Offensive efficiency was the name of the game for Gustavus hitters, as Alyssa Taylor also made just one error and finished with 11 kills and an attack percentage identical to Jahnke’s at .556.
Jahnke’s offensive performance against Central is the best by a Gustavus hitter since the 2010 season. Of players who recorded a minimum of 12 kills, Angela Ahrendt `12 is the last Gustie to hit over .500 in match. Ahrendt finished with 14 kills and just one error for an attack percentage of .684 against Saint Mary’s on Oct. 30 in Winona.
To go along with the prowess of the front row, Gustavus also benefited from a balanced defensive effort that saw three Gusties end up with double-digit digs. Paige Breneman was out in front of the effort with 16 digs, Kendra Weege (Jr., Watertown, Minn.) finished with 13, and Becca Woodstra added 11.
As a team, Gustavus held Central to a 21 kills and a .050 hitting percentage.
Taylor Meurer held down the setting duties and went over 30 assists for the fourth consecutive match. With 36 assists against the Dutch, Meurer finished with a tournament-leading total of 69 (9.86 a/set) on day one.
The Gustie volleyball team will conclude the Gustavus Invitational tomorrow with matches against Bethany Lutheran College at 11:00 a.m. and Simpson College at 1:00 p.m.
The Gustavus Adolphus Sports Information Department has created a website to make it easy for fans to follow the action this weekend’s tournament. A tournament website featuring a complete schedule, results, box scores, statistics, and the 2013 Gustavus Invitational All-Tournament Team can be found via the link below.