Gusties Defeat UW-Eau Claire in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament Posted on November 10th, 2022 by


ST. PAUL, Minn. — The No. 13 Gusties faced off against a familiar foe in the opening round of the NCAA Regional Tournament. UW-Eau Claire, the returning 2021 National Champion, was no match for the Gusties, who rolled to a 3-1 victory over the Blugolds Thursday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals.

Marlee Turn (Jr., Kennedy) lead the Gustie offense in the first set, posting a set-high six kills in the first frame, as well as a service ace to help the Gusties to a quick and decisive 25-16 victory. Sydney Olson (Sr., Willmar) and Sarah Elliott (Sr., Lombard, Ill.) added three kills each in the first set, while Kasie Tweet (Jr., Adrian) directed traffic, posting 12 assists.

Heading into set two with a head full of steam, the No. 13 Gusties scored eight of the set’s first 12 points. Turn would equal her set one kill total, adding six more, while Maren Sundberg (Fy., Eagan) stifled the Blugold offense with 13 digs. The Gusties wrapped up set two with a kill from Kasie Tweet, who also tallied 14 helpers in the set.

Sarah Elliott stole the show in set three, posting a series of kills early in the set to give the Gusties a 7-5 lead. The Blugolds battled back, though, as Arianna Barrett and Hannah Flottmeyer would post nine combined kills in the must-win set, leading UW-Eau Claire to a tight 25-22 set three victory. Elliott finished the set with eight kills for the Gusties, while Tweet added 12 more assists.

The Gusties, unfazed by the set three setback, rattled off 17 kills to win set four 25-21 and advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals. Turn and Lauren Klaith (Jr., Rockford) fueled the victory, posting six and four kills each.

Turn finished the match with 21 kills and 12 digs, while Elliott added 17 kills of her own. Kasie Tweet posted a season- and career-best 53 assists. Five players, including Turn, posted double-digit digs, with Tweet at 11, Payton Auseth (So., Chaska) at 12, Brynn Smith (So., Brooklyn Park) at 14, and Sundberg posting a team-leading 26.

The Gusties return to NCAA play tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in St. Paul. They will face off against the winner of UW-Whitewater and Cornell College.


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