ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Carleton College volleyball team won both of its games on day one of the Macalester Invitational, snapping the Knights’ three-game slide and improving to 8-3 on the season. After opening-set losses in both matches, Carleton went on to beat both UW-Superior and Minnesota-Morris by 3-1 scores. Jessa Youso (Sr./Virginia, Minn./Virginia) paced the Knights in kills with 30 over the two games.
After dropping the first set handily to UW-Superior 25-12, the Knights decided to switch up their rotation in order to reinvigorate the squad. “Sami Kemper did a great job of coming in and contributing on the outside,” said head coach Heidi Jaynes. Thanks in part to Kemper’s nine kills, Carleton came back to win three straight sets, taking the match 25-21, 27-25, and 25-22.
Youso tallied 14 kills and Sarah Nielsen (Sr./Altoona, Wis./Altoona) added a dozen more. Alicia Flatt (So./ Walnut Creek, Calif./ Caron) set up 36 assists and recorded 25 digs, team highs in both categories.
The Knights experienced a similar situation in the nightcap, this time against Minnesota-Morris. Carleton lost the first set, 21-25, but with the help of a near flawless performance from Nielsen—who had .480 hitting percentage on 12 kills with no errors—the Knights again won three straight sets, this time by increasing margins of 25-23, 25-19, and 25-14.
"Two great matches tonight for us,” said Jaynes. “We had some tight games but I was proud of how our team stepped up and fought to the end, never giving up or getting frustrated. Sarah and Jessa were tough again tonight as well. "
Camille Benson (Fy./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) paced the team in digs with 51 over the course of the night, while Flatt contributed 43 more assists against UM-Morris.
The Knights will try to roll off this momentum when they play Presentation College and the University of Dubuque on day two in St. Paul.
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