The Carleton College volleyball team lost on the road against St. Mary’s University Wednesday night in straight sets (29-27, 25-10, 25-23). Despite Karen Halls’ ‘15 nine kills and .389 hitting percentage, the Knights could not overcome the Cardinal’s strong effort.
The first set was a back and forth affair between the two teams. Led by six kills from Halls in the first set, Carleton (9-8, 0-5 MIAC) moved in front late in the set and eventually found themselves in the lead with a set-point opportunity at 24-22. Saint Mary’s (13-5, 2-3 MIAC) rallied, including two crucial kills by Kaylee Bunne, and eventually snuck past the Knights 29-27 to take an early 1-0 lead in the match.
Carleton kept things close early in the second set, and trailed 8-7 after consecutive kills by Sami Kemper ‘14 and Caroline Duke ‘17. The Cardinals answered however with a run of their own and eventually went on to take the set by a score of 25-10.
The Knights responded with a strong start in the third set as they jumped out to a 17-9 lead, highlighted by four assists from Duke and strong serving by Ashley Shin ‘16. Saint Mary’s answered with skilled serves of their own, delivering three aces during a 16-6 run to close out the set 25-23 and earn the match victory.
“We played so well and determined in sets one and three tonight,” commented head coach Heidi Jaynes. “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t finish those sets out and give ourselves some momentum.”
Shin paced the Knights defensively with a match-high 13 digs while Camille Benson ‘16 added 12 digs of her own. As a team, the Knights had 32 assists on 34 of their kills, hitting .157 along the way. The Cardinal’s finished the night with 45 kills and 43 assists while hitting .248. Alex Peterson and Kenzie Lind, who each contributed 12 kills during the match, led the Saint Mary’s offensive attack.
The Knights return to action Friday evening when they travel to Saint Paul, Minn. to face Macalester College at the Leonard Center. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.