NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College volleyball team returned to its winning ways on Saturday, as the team earned a pair of victories at the Carleton Triangular Saturday afternoon at West Gymnasium. Carleton opened up day one with a three-set sweep over the University of Wisconsin-Superior, before closing out the day with a thrilling five-set win over the Buena Vista University in the nightcap.
The Knights (11-10) opened the day by dispatching the Yellow Jackets (14-9) by scores of 26-24, 25-23, and 25-9. Carleton hit .232 as a team as Karen Halls (Jr./Edina, Minn./Edina) and Rachel Johnson (Sr./Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) led the way offensively with 10 and eight kills respectively. Caroline Duke (Fy./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) handed out a team-best 15 assists to go along with nine digs, six kills, and a season-high four aces. Camille Benson (So./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) claimed 17 digs, while Lexi Papke (So./Strum, Wis./Regis) added seven kills while hitting .263 in the match.
Against Buena Vista (14-8), the Knights started slow and dropped the first two sets, before roaring back with a hard-fought 25-22 win in the third set. Each team battled for supremacy throughout the fourth set before the Knights were able to outlast the Beavers 30-28 in a thrilling set. Carleton used the momentum to its advantage in the fifth-set as the Knights were able to gain a 15-11 set win and exciting match victory.
"We played very aggressively in our UW-Superior match thanks to excellent passing and serving today" stated Carleton head coach Heidi Jaynes. "Our team played confidently and it was great to see us play at a high level throughout the whole match. Against Buena Vista we hung on and turned the momentum our way in that third set with great defense and strong hitting by our middles and right sides. Our setters were outstanding today at running our offense and adjusting the tempo on our side of the net."
Duke tallied a career-best 16 kills against Buena Vista to go along with 21 assists and nine digs. Johnson and Halls claimed double-digit kill totals with 14 and 11 respectively, while Johnson added a team-high five blocks. Alicia Flatt (Jr./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet) contributed 34 assists and nine digs while Lexi Papke (So./Strum, Wis./Regis) chipped in nine kills. Chloe Nelson (Sr./Madison, Wis./ West) added a season-high 19 digs.
Carleton continues its mid-season non-conference slate with a home match against the University of Northwestern on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Knights Online will provide a live audio and video feed of the match.