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Volleyball rallies to claim first MIAC match

Despite dropping an early lead in the first set, the St. Olaf women’s volleyball team rallied back to defeat St. Catherine University 3-1 at the Butler Center in St. Paul on Wednesday, Sept. 18. It was the team’s first MIAC conference match of the season.

“MIAC matches are always a battle, and fortunately we came out on top in this one. It is a great way to start out the conference season,” Maggie Prunty ’15 said.

In the first set, St. Catherine took away the Oles’ 15-9 lead with solid serving and three kills from Wildcat Alyssa Besch ’16. St. Olaf committed 11 of their 26 errors during the first set. The Oles rebounded in the second set, winning by two points, 25-23. Kelly Heissel ’14 had two kills to finish the set off.

St. Olaf capitalized on the momentum they gained in set two to trounce the Wildcats 25-13 in the third set. Megan Bauer ’15 had a serving run to earn the Oles six points and a lead they would never give up. St. Catherine battled back in the fourth set, but St. Olaf went on to win 25-22 after Kathryn Johnson ’16 hit off the block to finish the match.

“We came out strong the last three sets by really focusing on our serve and staying in system on our serve receive. It’s a great feeling to have a win in the first conference match,” Bauer said.

“We are a really young team this year, so we are looking to surprise our competition with new players. We only have three starters returning from last year, so there are some fresh faces out on the court.”

“We are growing and improving every time we step on the court,” Prunty said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our first years who have really stepped up to the plate and added valuable talent and energy to the team.”

St. Olaf played its second MIAC match against Hamline University on Saturday, Sept. 21, losing 3-0. The Oles are currently 1-1 in MIAC play, 6-8 overall.