NORTHFIELD, Minn. – After stumbling early in its first match of the day, the Carleton College volleyball team responded with a convincing three-set sweep in their second match to finish with a 1-1 record on day one of the St. Olaf/Carleton Invitational. The Knights dropped a four-set match to defending UMAC runner-up St. Scholastica to open up the day before defeating Bethany Lutheran in the nightcap.
In the win against Bethany Lutheran, the Knights (1-1) jumped out to an early lead in the first set and had to fight off a late Viking charge before earning a 25-23 win. After the two teams traded points early in the second set, the Knights used a 11-4 scoring run late in the game to earn a 25-14 win. Carleton went on to close the match out with a 25-16 win in the final set to secure the team’s first victory of the season.
"It's exciting to finally get the season under way but we were a bit slow getting things started today in our first match," said Carleton head coach Hedi Jaynes. "I loved how we regrouped and improved our intensity in the second match and hit and served much better. I look forward to playing in our own gym tomorrow!"
Lexi Papke (So./Strum, Wis./Regis) and Claire Willeck (Jr./Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) paced the offensive attack with seven kills each against Bethany Lutheran, while Rachel Johnson (Sr./Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) and Karen Halls (Jr./Edina, Minn./Edina) chipped in six apiece.
Alicia Flatt (Jr./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet) totaled 16 assists, while teammate Caroline Duke (Fy./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) added 12 assists, five kills and three blocks. Libero Camille Benson (So./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) collected 25 digs.
After dropping the first set by a score of 25-18 versus St. Scholastica, the Knights responded with a 25-21 win in the second set. Carleton was unable to carry the momentum any further in the match however, as they dropped the final two games 25-14, 25-18 to the Saints.
Halls, Willeck and Duke led the offensive attack with seven kills each in the match, while Johnson and Sami Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) added four kills each. Flatt handed out 16 assists in the match, while Benson claimed a game-high 31 digs.
On Saturday, the Knights open play versus Martin Luther College at 2 p.m. followed immediately with a 4p.m. contest against Crown College. Day two of the St. Olaf/Carleton Invitational will mark the Knights first appearance of the season on campus, as all matches will be played at West Gymnasium.