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Schedule and Results

Result: W 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11)

Volleyball hosts St. Catherine University

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. at Northfield, Minn. - West Gym

Wanzenried, Shelton lead Knights over Wildcats in key MIAC battle

By Oliver Wolyniec '19
Inger Shelton
Inger Shelton
Photo: Nathan Klok

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College volleyball team started added to its winning streak by defeating St. Catherine University in a five-set thriller (22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11) on Wednesday.

“I am extremely proud of our girls for the resilience they displayed tonight,” said Carleton head coach Jacki Smith. “St. Kate’s was very solid defensively and challenged our offense to be creative.

“It’s always fun having multiple players with double digit kills, and I was very impressed with the tenacity of our defense. It was a battle, and I’m so proud of the girls.”

St. Catherine (11-11, 1-7 MIAC) was hot out of the gates, capitalizing on several Carleton (12-7, 2-6 MIAC) return errors to claim an early 5-2 lead. After that, the Knights and Wildcats went back and forth, with each taking 10 of the next 20 points to put the score at 15-12 in favor of St. Catherine. Sharpening up, Carleton found a groove and rode an 8-2 run to a 20-17 lead, which forced a Wildcat timeout.

Following the break, St. Catherine initiated a 5-0 run of its own to go up by two at 22-20. The Knights put up a fight, but the visitors did just enough to hold them off and win the first set by a 25-22 tally.

In set two, Carleton dominated most of the way. The hosts held leads of 5-2, 10-5, and 12-6, the last of which led to a St. Catherine timeout. Then, the Knights extended their advantage to eight at 19-11. From there, though, the Wildcats initiated a furious comeback. They won 10 of the next 12 points to tie things up at 21.

After a 23-23 deadlock, St. Catherine won a lengthy rally to earn a set point and force a Carleton timeout. The Knights responded well, and two kills by senior Elyse Wanzenried (Minnetonka, Minn.) handed Carleton a 25-24 edge. The home squad won the next point as well to close out the set, 26-24, and even the match up at one frame apiece.

Neither team could find any room to breathe in the third, as the frame witnessed a whopping 14 ties and seven lead changes. Eventually, the Knights earned a slim 22-21 edge to prompt a Wildcat timeout. St. Catherine regrouped in excellent fashion and took the next three points to go up 24-22. Carleton got the next point, but some miscommunication by the Knights led to a Wildcat point on the following play, which gave the visitors the set, 25-23, and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

The back-and-forth play continued into the fourth frame, but in the middle of the set, Carleton started to pull away. Trailing 9-7, Carleton ran off five consecutive points to force a St. Catherine timeout, but the Wildcats were unable to halt the Knights’ momentum. The Knights stretched their lead to six at 20-14, and despite some late resistance by the Wildcats, Carleton went on to win the set, 25-19, to force a decisive fifth game.

Battling out to a 5-5 tie, the Knights eventually created some space and earned an 8-5 lead. They worked their way to a seemingly commanding edge at 11-6 before the Wildcats charged back. Three straight points for St. Catherine made it a two-point game at 11-9. From there, though, Carleton rebounded and won four of the next six points to put the finishing touches on the set, 15-11, and the match.

Wanzenried led the Knights with 16 kills as she hit .481 in the match. The senior also reached double figures in digs with 11. Olivia Powell (Jr./Palos Verdes, Calif./Chadwick) contributed 15 kills, while Abby Loe (So./Apple Valley, Minn.) and Faith Skinner (Sr./La Crosse, Wis./Central) added 14 kills apiece.

Setter Inger Shelton (Fy./San Diego, Calif./La Jolla) amassed career-bests of 51 assists to go along with 14 digs.

Lauren Isaacson paced the Wildcats with 16 kills, while Brooke Beuning notched 32 assists.

Carleton’s homestand continues with a match against Augsburg University on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Links to live video and stats will be available on Knights Online.