St. Paul – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team suffered a pair of losses to Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) opponents on Saturday afternoon at the University of Northwestern Triangular held at the Ericksen Center. The Gusties fell 3-2 to the University of Minnesota-Morris in their opening match before suffering a 3-0 loss to host Northwestern. Gustavus will enter next week and return to MIAC play at 8-11 overall.
Gustavus vs. UM-Morris Recap
Against UM-Morris in the opening match of the triangular, Gustavus took a 1-0 lead with a 25-19 win in set one. Trailing 18-17 late in the set, Gustavus scored eight of the next nine points to win the set and take an early advantage in the match.
The Cougars bounced back with a second set win to even the match at 1-1. Much like Gustavus did in the first set, UM-Morris used a late surge in the second. With the Gusties on top 15-14, UM-Morris used a 5-0 scoring run to swing the frame in their favor 19-15. Once Gustavus made up the deficit and tied the score at 22-22, the Cougars scored three straight points to take the set 25-22.
Following a back-and-forth start to the third, Gustavus used a 9-1 point swing to grab a 20-13 advantage. UM-Morris fought back to bring the score within three (20-17), but Gustavus put to rest any comeback hopes by earning five of the next six points to win 25-18.
The fourth turned out to be tightly-contested from start-to-finish. After a Becca Woodstra (So., Minnetonka, Minn.) kill tied the match at 24-24, a Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) serving error and an ace by UM-Morris’s Brooke Decker gave the set to the Cougars 26-24.
Despite a 3-0 lead to start the fifth and final set, Gustavus trailed 8-5 after an 8-2 Cougar scoring run. The Gusties could not recover from the deficit from that point on, as UM-Morris scored seven of the last nine points to secure the 3-2 match victory with a 15-9 win in the fifth.
Gustavus posted 61 kills on the afternoon and out-hit UM-Morris .195 to .169.
Kelle Nett (So., Spring Valley, Ill.) led all hitters with a season/match-high 17 kills and a .533 hitting percentage after making just one attack error on 30 attempts. Her single-match kill total ranks second on the team this season, while her hitting percentage ranks third.
Paige Breneman led the defensive effort with 25 digs, while Becca Woodstra turned in 19 digs to go along with eight kills (.179).
Gustavus vs. Northwestern Recap
In their final match of the triangular, the Gusties suffered a sweep at the hands of Northwestern via set scores of 25-15, 35-33, and 25-21. Northwestern hit the floor with 17 kills in each set (51 total) and hit at a rate of .220 in the match. Gustavus had a team attack percentage of .138 after tallying 42 kills.
It was the second set that turned out to be the story of the match. Trailing 7-1 early in the frame, Gustavus went on an 8-2 run to claw its way back and tie the set at 9-9. From there, Gustavus made its runs and Northwestern responded with runs of its own. The Gusties had a chance to put the match away up 24-22, but the Eagles scored three of the next four points to tie the score at 25-25. Northwestern had five set-point opportunities and Gustavus had three from that point to the end of the match. On their fifth set-point chance, the Eagles won the set 35-33 on a Lizzy Potratz kill.
The Black and Gold could not find a way out of the 2-0 hole, dropping the third set by four points.
Janessa Jahnke (Fy., Blue Earth, Minn.) led the Gustie offense with 13 kills (.357), while Woodstra finished behind her with 11 (.116).
Meurer and Weege did the setting once again, finishing with 23 and 10, respectively.
The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team will be back on the hardwood Wednesday, Oct. 9 when it plays host to Augsburg College at 7:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.