NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Despite Sarah Nielsen’s (Sr./Altoona, Wis./Altoona) match-high 16 kills, the Carleton College volleyball team dropped its second straight home game, losing an important conference match to Concordia College by a 3-0 margin. The loss dropped the Knights into a tie for fifth place in the conference standings.
Today’s game began with strong hitting from both squads and intense back-and-forth scoring. With the Knights (16-8, 5-4 MIAC) leading 19-18 in the opener, the Cobbers (11-9, 6-3 MIAC) broke away for the first time with five straight points and eventually took the first set, 25-21.
After falling behind 14-8 to begin the second set, Carleton rallied back with four quick points. Concordia won five of the next six points, giving the Cobbers a 19-13 lead. Thanks to two kills from Jessa Youso (Sr. Virginia, Minn./Virginia) and four more from Nielsen, the Knights closed within one point at 24-23. But Carleton was unable to complete the comeback, dropping the set on the next point.
The Knights fell behind 14-7 in the third game and could not recover from that deficit with the Cobbers eventually clinching the match 25-14.
Although they were out-hit their guests, Carleton hung on to every rally, and as a result had four players with double digit kills. Camille Benson (Fy./Savage, Minn./Burnsville) and Liz Groesbeck (So./Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) each brought up 14 balls, Alicia Flatt (So./Walnut Creek, Calif./Carondelet) had 13, and Ashley Shin (Fy./Stanford, Calif./Palo Alto) dug 12 of her own. Flatt also added 26 assists for the Knights.
Kyndyll Ross collected 14 kills on .303 hitting for the Cobbers.
Two of the six berths in the MIAC Playoffs have already been clinched by St. Thomas and Saint Benedict. Only two games separate the next six teams in the standings. Carleton will play two of those squads next week. First up is a visit to Saint Mary’s University on Wednesday, Oct. 24 followed by the regular-season finale versus cross-town rival St. Olaf College on Saturday, Oct. 27. Live audio or live video of both matches will be available on Knights Online.