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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Volleyball forced from West, drops two heartbreakers

<ite the extensive flooding in the Knights’ home of West Gym, the women’s volleyball team continued to put up a fight this week, hosting both St. Mary’s and Bethel University on neutral territory. The team suffered tough losses against both schools, each time in a nail-biting final set. 

On Saturday against St. Mary’s, currently ranked no. 24 in the nation, the Knights started the afternoon on the defensive by quickly dropping the first set (25-20).  Six vicious blocks allowed the Knights to trump the Cardinals in the second and display their competitive spirit. St. Mary’s achieved an early 9-0 lead in the third set, however, and carried it out for the win.  In a nerve-racking final set, the Knights refused to surrender, holding off six match points, but eventually fell to the dominant Cardinal offense with an astronomically high score of 32-34. 

Kelly Lovett ’11 led the team with 11 kills and seven blocks. Jessa Youso ‘13 closely followed her with eight kills. Beth Jarrett ’11 supported the team in their tough fight putting up 33 assists.

Many Carleton fans made the trek across the river to St. Olaf’s Skoglund Center to attend the second “home” game this week vs. Bethel University.   Once again, the Knights didn’t warm up until the second set, where beastly kills by Lovett propelled the team forward. Carrying this momentum over into the third set, the Knights scored another set win through persistent offense. These second and third sets were perfect examples of the Knights’ best play; they appeared perfectly synchronized.  Once again, unfailing power by Lovett, with 17 kills, helped the team score several key points.  Youso and Kyla Walter ’11 followed suit, both boasting high kill counts of 13 and eight, respectively.

Bethel put a stop to the dominant Carleton play at the end of the fourth (26-24), pushing the match to a fifth set.  This final set proved heart wrenching for the Knights as the Cardinals pulled ahead to win 15-13 after a controversial substitution debate.  Sarah Neilson ’13 led a defensive charge with her animated presence, but the earlier halt in the game critically upset the Knights’ focus and resulted in a multitude of Carleton errors, which allowed Bethel to clinch the final drawn-out set.

Highlights of the game included great defensive work by freshman Ellie Schmidt and Erin Anderson ’12 who saved numerous close balls, and came up with 27 digs. The final score of the match was 2-3 (20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 26-28, 13-15).

The Knight’s travel to St. Paul tonight to compete in the Hamline Triangular, where they hope to rekindle the early successes of their season and achieve another tournament victory.  Saturday, they Knight’s return to Cowling Gymansium to welcome home their cherished alums in the annual Alumni Game at 10 a.m.

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