Parker Burman – Staff Writer
This past weekend the Gustavus Volleyball team traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to participate in the Loras Invitational. After starting the season off with seven straight wins, they suffered their first defeat of the season which came in the form of a 3-0 sweep by Northwestern before heading to Iowa.
They started their weekend with a hiccup after dropping a match 1-3 to UW]
‘-Stevens Point. However, they were able to turn it around for a pair of 3-0 sweeps against Grinnell and Loras. Going 2-1 over the weekend, the Gusties currently sit at 9-2 on the year.
“After our two losses, we all were upset of course, but with such a strong start to our season and the competitive nature of the Gustavus volleyball program, we knew the skills and potential of our team and I think that is what allowed us to rebound, play well, and win our games against Grinnell and Loras,” said Junior Kasie Tweet.
“I think overall the team was excited to go into another tournament. We came out a little bit slow the first night but bounced back great the next day,” Senior Sarah Elliott said.
Saturday’s action opened up with a dominating performance against Grinnell to put the Gusties back into the win column. Winning three sets to none, Gustavus took the sets 25-19, 25-21, and 25-13.
Leading the way for the Gusties against Grinnell were Elliott and Junior Marlee Turn who hammered out 14 and 13 kills respectively. In support of this was Tweet, who dished out 25 assists to lead the team, and First-year Maren Sundberg who compiled a team leading 20 digs. Turn’s performance resulted in her fifth double-double of the season, while Tweet also notched a double-double in the match.
“I give a lot of credit to our solid passers and hitters. Without them, I would not be able to deal out as many assists as I have been able to so far this season,” Tweet said.
“I have to give credit to Kasie [Tweet] putting up really great sets this whole weekend and making great decisions to get us hitters in a good position to only have one blocker up against us,” Elliott said.
In their second match of the day, this time matching up with Invitational host Loras, the Gusties continued to show just how dominant they can be. In similar fashion to their victory over Grinnell, Gustavus swept Loras with set scores of 25-12, 25-21, and 25-21 to win the match.
Just as they had in their first match key, veteran leaders led the charge for the Gusties. Turn was once again the Gustavus kill leader while teammates Elliott and Junior Lauren Klaith were both hot on her heels with 10 apiece. Tweet helped out again on the offensive front, contributing 22 helpers for the Gustie cause, with Senior Claire Anderson dishing out 15 assists.
“With the help of my teammates and coaches, I know what spots are vulnerable on the other side of the court, so I use my aggressive swing and smart shots to rack up some kills,” said Turn.
After a strong start to the season, securing their third title in five years, and off the heel of another MIAC Championship, the Gusties are confident. This weekend the team will be back in action for the Wartburg Invitational. They are looking to build off their strong finish to last weekend when they face-off with Wartburg and Coe College. Following another weekend in Iowa the Gusties will shift to conference play.
“The outlook going forward this season is to have some fun on the court and play the way we want to play. This team is something super special, so it makes us all excited to see how we will do this season,” said Turn.
“We have big goals regarding this season, but to achieve these goals we know that we have to take it one game at a time,” said Tweet.