St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Hamline University on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. Hamline’s defense held Gsutavus’s attackers in check for much of the night, as the Pipers earned the sweep via set scores of 25-21, 25-23, and 26-24. Gustavus drops to 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC, while the Pipers improve to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in the MIAC.
“We struggled to put the ball away and to Hamline’s credit, they were extremely scrappy and fought throughout the night,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “We didn’t handle the pressure well tonight, but that’s something we have to learn from and get better at as move forward.”
In the match’s opening set, the two teams went back-and-forth for much of the early stages. With Gustavus leading 13-11 following a Becca Woodstra (So., Minnetonka, Minn.) kill, Hamline began to make its move and used a 9-2 scoring run to take a 20-15 lead. The Gusties battled back to bring the score to within two points on four occasions yet could not close the gap. Two straight points up 23-21 gave Hamline the 25-21 first set victory and a 1-0 lead in the match.
Gustavus wasted no time in the second set, jumping out to a 6-1 advantage after three-straight kills by Alyssa Taylor (Jr., Trimont, Minn.). Hamline wouldn’t be discouraged by the early deficit and eventually brought the score back to even at 10-10 following a 5-1 run. In the heart of the set, a 6-1 swing put Hamline up 16-14, then a 4-1 run gave Gustavus back the lead at 18-17. With Gustavus leading 22-21, the Pipers scored three straight points to grab set point opportunity 24-22. After a Taylor Morton (Fy., Cody, Wyo.) kill cut the lead to one (24-23), Taylor was called for an attack error, which handed Hamline the set 25-23.
Following an intermission between sets, Gustavus came out firing in the third. The Gusties built an 11-6 lead, then extended it to 19-11 after a stretch during which they scored 8-of-13 points. As was the trend throughout the night, no lead was safe. Trailing 19-11, Hamline slowing chipped away at the margin and used a 9-4 run to bring the score to within three at 23-20. Despite the comeback, Gustavus was still able to get to set point up 24-20 after an attack error by Katie Ayres. It was then that the wheels came off the bus for Gustavus. Staring down three consecutive set points, the Pipers scored six straight to win the third 26-24 and take the match 3-0.
The Gusties recorded 13 kills in each set and hit at rates of .103 in the first, .216 in the second, and .233 in the third. As a team, Gustavus finished with 39 kills and a .174 hitting percentage. Hamline posted 47 kills and an attack percentage of .190.
Leading Gustavus’s offense was rookie Janessa Jahnke (Blue Earth, Minn.) who hit the floor with a match-high 13 kills to go along with a .270 attack percentage.
Hamline benefited from a balanced attack that saw three players finish with double-digit kills. Stephanie Kaup led the group with 12 kills, while Sam Greeney-Hamlin and Michelle Mattke both had 11.
Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) turned in a stellar performance in the back row, registering a match-high 28 digs. Breneman’s performance tonight matches her season-best performance of 28 digs recorded against UW-Stout on Aug. 20.
Hamline had 75 digs compared to Gustavus’s 62 in the match. Lynsey Reimer (19), Jamie Rubbelke (16), and Miquel Green (13) all had digs in double-figures.
Taylor Meurer (Jr., Nicollet, Minn.) set for Gustavus and finished with 33 assists, while Molly Hurrie did the setting for Hamline and finished with 42.
“We have to get in the gym tomorrow and practice the way we want to play,” said Sherden. “Nobody can hang their head, nobody can sulk. We have to work hard the rest of the week in preparation for what will be another tough opponent in Macalester on Saturday”
The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team will be back on the court Saturday, Sept. 28 when it takes on Macalester on Homecoming Day at 4:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.