WAVERLY – For the eighth time in program history dating back to the 1979 season, the Wartburg College Knights volleyball team has started the season 4-0.
The Knights cruised the straight set victories over Carleton and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
The Knights had previously started the season 4-0 in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2014, 2015, and most recently, the 2017 season.
Knights vs. Carleton (25-23; 25-16; 25-17)
An early points battle led the Knights in having a four-point deficit at 13-9 in the opening set. Led by kills from Kylie Bildstein and Zaiah Quirk, the Knights opened an 8-2 run. With a two-point lead at 18-16, the Knights and Carleton battled to the end of the first set. Quirk connected with Claire Marsh in the closing minutes as the Knights won a 25-23 battle.
Starting hot in the second set, Marsh helped push the Knights to a 5-3 lead. The set found itself in a stalemate six times as the Knights and Carleton battled. A bad set by Carleton ignited a 12-2 run by the Knights, which saw attacking errors on the Carleton side.
With cruise control on, the Knights took a commanding 6-3 lead early. Carleton fought back to tie the game at 7 as a Jayme Willemssen kill put the Knights on a 6-0 run. Carleton came within four at 18-14 before Kennedy Meister extended the lead at 19-14. The Knights finished the third and final set on a 6-3 run.
Knights vs. Saint Mary’s (MN) (25-16; 25-22; 25-16)
Looking for their fourth win of the season, the Knights opened the first set against the Cardinals of Saint Mary’s (MN) on a 5-2 run. The Cardinals fought back to take an 11-7 lead as the Knights looked for their footing in the match. A kill from Marsh opened an eight straight point run for the Knights, which saw them regain the lead at 18-13. Quirk andMeister recorded two kills each in the final points of the first set as the Knights took set one.
Finding the cruise control early, the Knights opened the second set on an 8-3 run. Following a 13-7 deficit, the Cardinals fought to take a 14-13 lead in the middle of the set. A Meisterkill and back-to-back aces from Nell Sybesma regained the lead for the Knights. The Knights would never relinquish the lead in the second set and would win 25-22.
Quirk accounted for two kills, while Willemssen and Bildstein added a kill each as the Knights opened the final set on a 5-1 run. The Cardinals would not get within more than four as the Knights cruised to their second sweep of the day.
Wartburg Stat Leaders vs. Carleton
Meister and Bildstein led the way in kill for the Knights in the opening match of the day, with eight apiece. Bildstein and Willemssen recorded three blocks each, while Caroline Kluesnerled the way with three aces. As a team, the Knights recorded 37 kills and an attacking percentage of .183.
Wartburg Stat Leaders vs. Saint Mary’s (MN)
Against Saint Mary’s (MN), Quirk and Bildstein led the way with nine kills each. Marsh and Sybesma recorded two service aces in the contest, while Willemssen led the way in blocks (4). As a team, Wartburg recorded 43 kills and had an attacking percentage of .288.