St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team got back on track with a 3-1 win over Macalester College at Gus Young Court. Three Gusties finished with double-figure kills and three more finished with double-figure digs in one of the team’s best all-around performances of the season. Gustavus improves 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the MIAC with the win, while Macalester drops to 10-8 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC with the loss.
“We came in loose ready to go and ready to play tonight,” said senior captain Emily Gilman (Maple Grove, Minn.). “We worked together, played as a team, got into a flow and just went with it. The energy was great tonight.”
After winning the opening set by the score of 25-21, Macalester battled back to take the second set 25-16. Following the break, Gustavus came out firing with a 25-12 win in the third and a 25-20 win in the fourth to earn victory.
Gustavus wasted no time in the first set, grabbing an 8-0 lead on the serve of Taylor Meurer (Jr., Nicollet, Minn.). After Macalester brought the score to within five points (11-6), the Gusties responded with an 8-2 scoring run to go up 19-8. Facing a 20-10 deficit, Macalester began to make a comeback and eventually brought the score to within four at 22-18. Unlike Wednesday night’s loss to Hamline, Gustavus was able shut down the run and eventually hold on for the win.
In Macalester’s second set victory, the Scots were in command after going on a 10-2 run that saw them with a 20-10 advantage. Gustavus brought the score to within eight after that point, yet could not make up the margin and Macalester evened the match 1-1.
After going down 2-0 to start the third, Gustavus took control and never looked back. The Gusties used a 7-1 swing to go up 7-3, then a 12-4 run to extend their lead to 19-7. Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) capped the set of with an ace to put Gustavus on top 2-1.
The fourth and final set turned out to be a back-and-forth battle for much of the frame. In control up 17-13, Gustavus saw its lead quickly disintegrate as the Scots rattled off four straight points to even the score at 17-17. Macalester’s run lit a fire under ther home team and the Gusties went on to win six of the next seven points to go up 23-18. A kill by Sarah Schuetz (So., Eagan, Minn.) gave Gustavus match point, and an attack error by Macalester’s Laura Avena gave the Gusties the four-set victory.
Gustavus’s efficient offense that hit at a rate of .228 was paced by Sarah Schuetz and Kelle Nett (So., Spring Valley, Ill.) who both registered 11 kills. Schuetz hit .304 to go along with her best kill total of the year. Emily Gilman also turned in her best offensive performance of the season with 10 kills and a .333 attack percentage.
The defensive effort that combined for 73 digs – Gustavus’s second-best mark of the year – was fronted by Becca Woodstra (So., Maple Grove, Minn.), Paige Breneman, and Haley Zweber (Fy., Rosemount, Minn.). Woodstra had a season-high 17 digs to go along with nine kills, Breneman had 16 digs, and Zweber rounded out the trio with 12 digs.
Head coach Rachelle Sherden decided to switch up her offensive strategy this afternoon by giving the setting duties to both Taylor Meurer and Kendra Weege (Jr., Watertown, Minn.). The pair combined for 42 assists as they each had 21.
Leading Macalester’s offense, which hit at a rate of .168, was Laura Avena who hit the floor with a match-high 22 kills (.321). Cora Trout led the Scots defensively with a match-high 26 digs.
The Gustavus volleyball team will head back on the road Wednesday, Oct. 2 for an MIAC match against St. Olaf College. The Gusties and Oles will square off at 7:00 p.m. in Northfield, Minn.