After 13 games away from home, the Carleton College volleyball team returned to West Gym for the first time this season, but faced a stiff challenge as the Knights hosted No. 7 University of St. Thomas.
Carleton hung with the defending conference co-champions for much of the night before absorbing a 3-0 setback. Seniors Jessa Youso and Sarah Nielsen led the Knights’ charge with seven kills apiece.
St. Thomas (13-1, 2-0 MIAC) raced to a 7-0 lead in opening set, but the Knights (10-4, 0-2 MIAC) battled back with a 13-6 run of their own to tie the game. The score remained close until the Tommies closed with a six-point burst to take the set, 25-18.
The second set featured intense back-and-forth scoring with eight ties and four lead changes before St. Thomas broke a 12-12 tie. The Knights kept the Tommies from running away and closed to within 24-23 before the visitors ended the set with a tip over the Knights’ aggressive blocking.
It was a similar story in the final set as the Knights stayed close, pulling within 16-13 after a block by Nielsen and Karen Halls ‘15. St. Thomas re-grouped and used a 9-3 run to close out the match.
“We faced a tough test tonight and didn’t play our best,” said Carleton head coach Heidi Jaynes. “We need to learn from our mistakes and come ready to play on Friday.”
The Knights posted a solid front line, tallying nine blocks on the evening, includinga team-best six from Youso. Camille Benson ‘16 paced the squad with 12 digs, while Alicia Flatt ‘16 controlled Carleton’s passing game with 19 assists.
Kelly Foley put up 17 kills to lead St. Thomas.
Carleton will look for its first home victory of the campaign tonight when they host Bethel University at 7:00 PM Knights Online will feature live video of the match.