St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team could not overcome an early deficit and eventually fell 3-0 to Bethel University on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. The Royals earned the sweep via set scores of 25-19, 25-11, and 25-23 to pick up their fourth league win and keep their playoff hopes alive. Gustavus drops to 9-18 overall and 3-6 in the MIAC with the loss, while Bethel is now 13-14 overall and 4-5 in the MIAC.
After trading the first ten points of the opening set, Bethel used a 6-1 scoring run to go up 11-6. The run proved to be the cushion the Royals needed. Gustavus brought the score to within two points trailing 17-15, but Bethel responded with two straight to go back up four at 19-15. Gustavus could not make up the difference, and the Royals grabbed a 1-0 lead with the opening set win.
It was all Bethel to begin the second set. The Royals went up 5-0 then later 11-2. After Gustavus cut the lead to 13-6, Bethel answered with four unanswered points to go up 17-6, running away with the set and taking control with a 2-0 match lead.
The Royals jumped out to an early advantage once again in the third, going up 9-4 after winning five straight points. Trailing 15-10, Gustavus chipped away at the deficit and eventually brought the score to within a point down 17-16. Bethel answered Gustauvs’s spree with a 5-1 run of its own to extend its lead to 22-17. It was at that point that the Black and Gold clawed its way back into the set. A kill by Alyssa Taylor (Jr., Trimont, Minn.) and then four consecutive points with her on the serve tied the frame at 22-22. After trading points to bring the score to 23-23, Bethel had had enough. A Gustavus attack error followed by a kill by Carlee Hoppe gave the Royals a 25-23 win in the third and a 3-0 sweep in the match.
As a team, Gustavus hit a season-low .058 with 27 kills. Bethel finished with a .179 attack percentage and 42 kills.
Gustavus’s offense was led by Alyssa Taylor and Becca Woodstra (So., Minnetonka, Minn.) who combined for 15 of the team’s 27 kills. Taylor had eight with a .167 attack rate, while Woodstra had seven and hit .056.
Bethel’s Carlee Hoppe was fed early and often, posting a match-high 16 kills to go along with a .255 hitting percentage. Nicole Ackatz also reached double figures with 11 kills (.216).
Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) led the way with a match-high 25 digs – her highest total in three matches. Hayley Zweber (Fy., Rosemount, Minn.) was next behind Breneman with 16 digs, Natalie Watkins (Fy., Alexandria, Minn.) had 13, and Kendra Weege (Jr., Watertown, Minn.) posted 11.
Weege did the setting and had 18 assists to go along with her dig total. It was her fifth double-double in the assists and digs this season.
The Gustavus volleyball team will look to get back on track on this Saturday when it hosts Saint Mary’s University at 3:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court.