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Schedule and Results

Result: L 2-3 (24-26, 25-22, 16-25, 25-22, 9-15)

Volleyball at Saint Mary's University

Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 7:00 p.m. at Winona, Minn. - SMU Gym

Knights go the distance but fall short against Cardinals

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Lucy Stevens
Lucy Stevens
Photo: Geoffrey Mo '19

WINONA, Minn. – Lucy Stevens (Sr./Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) moved into third place all-time in career kills, but the Carleton College volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking five-set defeat (26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-9) at the hands of Saint Mary’s University on Friday night.

Stevens, whose career total stood at 1,096 kills entering Friday, moved into third-place all-time late in the first set, passing Maura O’Leary '95. Earlier this season, Stevens became just the fourth Carleton student-athlete to reach the 1,000 kill plateau.

Carleton Volleyball All-Time Kill Leaders
1. 1530    Tina Churchill         1985-88
2. 1371    Becky Biegelsen     1985-1987
3. 1118   Lucy Stevens       2014-pres
4. 1099    Maura O’Leary       1992, ‘94-95

After a 5-5 tie early on in the first set, the Cardinals (13-6, 4-2 MIAC) took off on a hot streak and claimed eight of the next 11 points to go up 13-8. Things started clicking for the Knights (5-10, 2-4 MIAC) at that point, and they fought back to another deadlock at 15. From there, the two teams battled back and forth until the set reached a critical moment at 24-24. It was Saint Mary’s who proved able to take advantage of some Carleton mistakes to win the next two points and the set, 26-24.

In the following frame, neither team could create any separation, and each side of the scoreboard saw its total rise at the same rate as the other. Finally, all square at 21, the Knights won the next three points to pull within one point of matching the Cardinals in sets won. Despite some late resistance from the hosts, Carleton went on to win the set by a 25-22 tally with a crucial third frame coming up.

The exceedingly competitive play that characterized the second carried over into the third, with the set coming to a head at 12-12. Perhaps fueled by a rowdy Winona crowd, Saint Mary’s ignited an impressive run to take control of the set and the match. The Cardinals secured 13 of the following 17 points on their way to a 25-16 game victory, and they went up 2-1 in the match.

The Knights needed to turn things around in the fourth, and they did exactly that. After leading most of the way, Carleton initiated a mini-run to take a 16-10 lead and force a Saint Mary’s timeout. Following the break, the Cardinals gradually chipped away at the deficit, but ultimately it was the Knights who prevailed, 25-22, holding off a late rally to force a decisive fifth set.

Carleton got off to a stellar start in the final set, jumping out to a 5-1 advantage to prompt a Saint Mary’s timeout. The Cardinals caught fire, however, saving their best play for the end. They quickly overcame the deficit and eventually won the set by a 15-9 tally to close out the match.

Faith Skinner (Jr./La Crosse, Wis./Central) and Stevens led all hitters with 16 kills apiece. Elyse Wanzenried (Jr./Minnetonka, Minn.) and Abby Loe (Fy./Apple Valley, Minn.) reached double digits in kills as well, with 11 and 10, respectively. Lauren Pak (Fy./Moraga, Calif./Campolindo) amassed a whopping 47 assists on the night. Defensively, Katie Tritschler (Sr./Los Altos, Calif.) collected 33 digs.

The Knights return home on Wednesday the 11th for a 7:00 p.m. match against Hamline University. A live audio and video broadcast will be made available via Knights Online.