ARDEN HILLS, Minn.— Caroline Duke (Fy./Evanston, Ill./Evanston) claimed a team-high nine kills and added 10 assists, but the Carleton College volleyball team was unable to overcome a strong effort by the Bethel Royals in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday evening at the Robertson Center. The Knights fell in three sets, 25-16, 25-18, 25-21.
Both teams played even through the first portion of set one, as a kill by Sami Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) pulled Carleton (11-12 overall, 0-8 MIAC) to within a point at 15-14. The Royals (12-14 overall, 3-5 MIAC) used a 9-0 run to build a 24-14 lead in the set before a block by Ellie Schmidt (Sr./Denver, Colo./East) and Rachel Johnson (Sr./Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) ended the Bethel run. The Royals went on to close the set out two points later to earn a 25-16 win and early match lead.
Carleton started strong in the second set and opened up an 11-9 lead on the heels of kill by Duke. The Knights would be unable to carry the momentum any further in the set however, as Bethel scored eight out of the next nine points to take 17-12 lead. A kill by Kemper followed by a service ace from Karen Halls (Jr./Edina, Minn./Edina) pulled the Knights to within three at 17-14, but the Royals were too strong down the stretch, scoring seven out of the final 10 points in the set to earn a 25-18 win.
Despite the two set deficit, the Knights battled throughout the third set and earned a 16-15 lead after a kill by Lexi Papke (So./Strum, Wis./Regis). The Royals regained the lead two points later and extended the Knight deficit to four at 22-18, before back to back kills by Duke and Schmidt, followed by a block by Johnson and Halls pulled the Knights to within one a 22-21. The Knights would get no closer however, as Bethel won the ensuing three points to close out the set and match.
The Knights were undone offensively with a season-low .037 hitting percentage, while the Royals claimed a .195 hitting percentage.
Camille Benson (So./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) paced the Knights defense with a match-best 24 digs, while teammate Alicia Flatt (Jr./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet) added a team-high 15 assists. Papke added five kills and a block, while Johnson and Schmidt recorded four kills each. Halls and Johnson led the Knights with four blocks each including one solo block by Johnson.
Carlee Hoppe led the Royal offensive attack with 15 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and a .364 hitting percentage.
Carleton will hit the road again this Wednesday, as they travel to Saint Paul, Minn. to face No. 5-ranked St. Thomas at 7 p.m.