Volleyball Wins Season Opener in Straight Sets at Concordia

Posted on April 11th, 2021 by

BOX SCORE

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team started its spring season Sunday at Concordia and came away with a straight-set victory. The Gusties won by set scores of 25-23, 25-18, and 31-29.

“I’m very proud of our team and the way they never backed down in that match,” Assistant Coach Alyssa Taylor said. “All three sets were a battle back and forth between both teams and the girls showed their resiliency and fight, which I was not surprised about given the way they’ve handled these past two weeks.”

In the first set, Concordia jumped out to an early 5-2 lead and held an advantage throughout most of the set. The Cobbers were leading 17-12 before the Gusties strung together five straight points to tie the score. Concordia answered with three consecutive points to regain the lead and force a Gustie timeout. After the break, the Gusties claimed six of the next eight rallies to tie the score at 23-23. An attack error put the Gusties ahead and a kill from Kate Holtan (Sr., Rochester) sealed the opening set win.

The two squads traded points to open the second set, leading up to a 10-10 score. The Gusties then went on a 9-3 run and never let go of the lead. The Gusties benefitted from six Cobber errors to claim the second set.

The third set never saw a score differential of more than three points with 10 lead changes and 24 ties. Nora Lehmkuhl (So., Northfield) recorded a kill to put the Gusties up 21-19 and force a Cobber timeout. The home team came out of the break with a 4-1 run, taking a 23-22 lead and forcing a Gustie timeout. Concordia ensued with a service error and a kill by Sarah Elliott (So., Lombard, Ill.) had the Gusties serving set point at 24-23, but the Cobbers got the next two points for a 25-24 advantage. Holtan got a kill to tie the score but an error had the Cobbers serving set point, 26-25. Another Cobber service error tied the game and another kill by Elliott put the Gusties up 27-26. The Cobbers won three of the next four rallies, serving set point twice before kills from Marlee Turn (Fy., Kennedy) and Holtan gave the visitors a 30-29 lead followed by an attack error for the Gustie win.

“Finally being able to play against someone other than ourselves was much needed and a chance to see what things we still needed to work on as well as see what things have translated well from practice,” Taylor said. “After almost 550 days of not having a match, I told the girls I wanted them to enjoy competing and playing with each other, and I think they did that tonight very well. I’m excited to have that first match under our belts this spring and can’t wait to get back in the gym next week to clean up a few things and play some more matches.”

Holtan led the Gustie attack, posting 18 kills and a .317 hitting percentage. Elliott finished with nine kills and Turn had eight. Hailey Embacher (Sr., Mankato) led the back line with 27 digs. Lehmkuhl was the primary setter with 40 assists. The Gusties hit .241 on the attack and held the Cobbers to a .176 clip.

The Gusties next host Saint Mary’s at 3 p.m. Saturday.

 

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