ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Sarah Nielsen (Sr./Altoona, Wis./Altoona) pounded out a match-high 14 kills and hit .560 for the evening—without a single attack error—as the Carleton College volleyball team swept Hamline University by scores of 25-17, 25-21, and 25-17. The Knights have now won seven of their last eight matches.
Nielsen started the match on fire, tallying six kills in the opening set alone. With the game tied 8-8 in the first set, Carleton (13-4, 3-2 MIAC) streaked for six straight points, thanks to an unshakable front line, which posted five blocks in the first set, half of those by senior Jessa Youso (Virginia, Minn./Virginia), who also added nine kills on the night. The Knights went on to take the game, 25-17.
In the second set, there were already seven lead changes and seven more ties by the time Hamline (13-4, 0-4 MIAC) held a slight 12-11. Another Nielsen kill ignited an 8-2 spurt for the Knights, who pushed in front to stay en route to the 25-21 decision.
After the Carleton took an early lead in the final set, the Pipers battled back to within one point at 11-10. The Knights took five of the next six points thanks to a block and two kills from Karen Halls (So./Edina, Minn./Edina). Four more Youso kills punctuated the Knights’ victory, 25-17.
"Our team was very focused and determined tonight,” commented head coach Heidi Jaynes. “They did a great job at the net shutting down Hamline’s hitters, and our back row was fabulous at running down everything. It was a great team effort. Sarah Nielsen had another stellar night, while Jessa and Karen were very aggressive in the middle and kept Hamline’s defense scrambling."
Carleton featured three players with double-digit digs: defensive specialist Ashley Shin (Fy./Stanford, Calif./Palo Alto), setter Alicia Flatt (So./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet), and libero Camille Benson (Fy./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) recorded 13, 12, and 11, respectively. Flatt also had 33 assists, more than Hamline had as a team. The Knights posted nine team blocks against only two for the Pipers.
The Knights will look to keep the momentum tomorrow, Sept. 29 with a 3 p.m. match scheduled at Macalester College.