Volleyball Battles for Comeback Victory at Saint Ben’s Posted on April 28th, 2021 by


ST. JOSEPH, Minn. – Trailing 2-1 after three sets in Wednesday night’s match at Saint Benedict, the Gustavus volleyball team erased a 24-19 deficit in the fourth to force a fifth set and was able to complete the comeback with a 15-12 win in the final frame. The Gusties improve to 3-1 overall while the Bennies drop to 4-2.

“First and foremost I could not be more proud of this team,” Assistant Coach Alyssa Taylor said. “The heart and battle put forth in this match was awesome. As a coach, all you can ask for from your team is to compete and play hard. And they did that tonight against a very strong team.”

Sarah Elliott (So., Lombard, Ill.)Jess Gruber (So., Becker) and Courtney Peterson (So., Jamestown, S.D.) were big on the attack, providing 20, 13, and 13 kills, respectively. Gruber posted a .270 hitting percentage in her first match of the season.

The Gusties won the opening set 25-23 in a back-and-forth start to the match. The set featured five lead changes with the Gusties pulling away late on three straight kills by Lauren Klaith (Fy., Rockford) for a 23-20 advantage. Two Bennie attack errors sealed the 25-23 Gustie win.

Gustavus held on to an early 10-6 lead to start the second, but the Bennies went on a 15-6 run and claimed the second 25-20. The Bennies rolled their momentum into the third and never trailed in another 25-20 decision.

Saint Ben’s was on the verge of winning the match in the fourth set, serving set point at 24-19, but a couple Gustie kills and a Bennie attack error brought the score to 24-22 and forced a timeout. Elliott had back-to-back kills to tie the score at 24-24 before the Bennies regained the lead with a kill. But Gruber connected for a kill to tie the game, followed by a kill from Peterson to take the lead and another kill by Gruber to secure the 27-25 win.

The fifth set went back-and-forth in the early going, but consecutive kills by Peterson gave the Gusties a 9-7 lead and they were able to hold on for a 15-12 win.

“We had many players in roles and positions they maybe hadn’t been in before and they stepped up big time and just played Gustie volleyball,” Taylor added. “Like I said, very proud of the team and their fight.”

Kasie Tweet (Fy., Adrian) directed the offense for most of the match with a team-high 34 assists along with 27 digs. Hailey Embacher (Sr., Mankato) tallied 34 digs on the back line and added 10 assists. Klaith had the third double-double for the team with 11 kills and 19 digs.

Gustavus competes in the Bethel Triangular on Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. match against Augsburg followed by a 3 p.m. match against Bethel.


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