NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- The Carleton College volleyball team continued its winning ways on Saturday, as the Knights earned wins over Martin Luther and Crown to close out the St. Olaf Invitational. The two victories , coupled with a triumph against Bethany Lutheran on Friday, allowed the team to finish the weekend with a 3-1 record during the two-day event. Sophomore libero Camille Benson (Savage, Minn./Burnsville) and first-year setter Caroline Duke (Evanston, Ill./Evanston) were named to the eight-person All-Tournament team following the tournament.
Day two of the showcase started with an early afternoon match against Martin Luther College. Carleton started strong, as they outpaced the opposing Knights 26-24 in each of the opening two sets. Martin Luther avoided a sweep with a 25-13 win in the third set, before Carleton closed out the match with a come-from-behind 25-23 win in the fourth and final game.
Carleton carried the momentum from the win into the team’s final match of the day against Crown. The Knights overpowered the Storm en route to a three-game sweep, 25-10, 25-15, and 25-15 to finish the tournament.
"Overall I was excited with how we played throughout the weekend,” said Carleton head coach Heidi Jaynes. “I was particularly impressed with how we improved our passing throughout the weekend, and I was pleased that we were able to experiment with a variety of lineups and rotations in the two matches today. I'm excited that we are 3-1 after our first weekend and am looking forward to the opportunity to get back in the gym during the next few days to prepare for some tough competition next weekend at Macalester.”
Leading the Knights’ offense with 26 kills for the tournament were Claire Willeck (Jr./Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) and Caroline Duke (Fy./Evanston, Ill./Evanston). Middle hitter Rachel Johnson (Sr./Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) added 22 kills and six blocks, while Lexi Papke (So./Strum, Wis./Regis) added 21 kills. Setter Alicia Flatt (Jr./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet) claimed a team-high 49 assists, while defensive specialist Camille Benson (So./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) added 86 digs and five service aces.
The Knights will be busy again this weekend as they have four total matches at the Macalester College Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. Carleton will play the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the University of Minnesota-Morris on Friday, Sept. 6 followed by Saturday afternoon contests against Northland College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.