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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Volleyball falls to Olaf in season finale

<rleton fans filled Skoglund Center on Saturday afternoon for what would turn out to be the last match of the Lady Knights’ 2010 season. Despite solid hitting from Kyla Walter ‘11, the team fell in a short three sets to the No. 11 Oles (21-25, 19-25, 11-25).

The first set started off with a service ace from Beth Jarrett ’11, but was quickly followed by several Carleton errors. Both teams struggled to find their footing, yet Olaf maintained a short but consistent lead throughout the set. Although the Ole offense was marred with errors, the Knights failed to hit above .100 and lost the set 25-21.

As the match quickly moved into the second set, the St. Olaf squad, top-ranked MIAC team, began to show its strength. The Knights stepped up and delivered their best set of this final match, but it was not enough to break the Oles. Walter earned half of her eight match kills and Kelly Lovett ’11 delivered another three kills. At 6-3 Carleton gained its longest lead of the match and continued to throw everything it had at St. Olaf. The Knights’ defense held strong, with libero Erin Anderson ’12 diving to save several key balls and Jessa Youso ’13 and Sarah Nielsen ‘13 each adding several block assists, but it was ultimately the dedication of the four seniors that kept the Knights in the match. The team continued to fight off the strong hitting of Olaf’s 2009 All American Kim Smisek, but they were unable to come out on top, trailing 19-25.

The Knights end their season with at 10-14 overall and 2-9 in the MIAC. This season was an uphill battle for the Knights. With the graduation of several key team members in June 2010 and the Cannon River flooding affecting their home court in West Gym, the scoreboard often didn’t reflect the strength and talent of the 2010 Knights. 

“We didn’t win as many games as we hoped to this season,” said Lovett, who was recently named all-MIAC, “but overall, I’m still proud of how hard all my teammates worked and how much many of the girls improved. On top of that, we had a ton of fun! I wouldn’t trade my senior season with these girls for anything.”

Jarrett, Maddy Lenhard, Lovett, and Walter will be sorely missed, both on and off the court, but they graduate knowing that the returning players, many of whom have seen extensive playing time this year, will lead Carleton Volleyball next season.

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