ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Alverno volleyball team had another busy weekend of action on Friday and Saturday as the Inferno took part in the Macalester Invitational at the Leonard Center in Minnesota.
Alverno went 1-3 on the weekend, picking up a straight-set win over Trinity Bible (N.D.) in the early session on Saturday. The Inferno won the match by the scores of 25-17, 25-13, and 25-20. In the second game of the day on Saturday, Alverno fell to host Macalester by the margins of 25-21, 25-18 and 26-24.
On Friday the Inferno opened the weekend with a pair of losses dropping the weekend opener to Carleton 25-9, 25-14, and 25-20; before going on to fall in a four-set decision to Grinnell with a 26-24 win in the third set to force a fourth bout with the Pioneers.
Leading the offensive attack on the weekend was senior Cailey Jeske, who tallied 40 kills through the four matches and had a team-best .333 hitting percentage. Jeske also led with a team-best seven aces on the weekend and was also amongst the team leaders with three blocks. Sophomore Arianna Rehberg had the second-most kills on the weekend with 25 and chimed in with a team-best five blocks on the weekend.
Freshman Catie Flannery was third on the team with 22 kills, while she also added five aces and 31 digs to go along with four block assists. Freshman Alex McMath was also in double-figures with 18 kills as she added 19 assists and three aces on the weekend to help the cause.
In addition to the 19 assists by McMath, Alverno was led by junior Sam Korn with 44 assists on the weekend, while sophomore Atiya Mansfield had 36 assists in a return to her home state. Sophomore Morgan Lemner had 30 digs on the weekend from her libero position, while classmate Neilee Newton tallied 16 digs through the four matches.
Alverno vs. Trinity Bible
Alverno dominated Trinity Bible throughout the match on Saturday morning as Jeske notched 16 of her 40 kills against Lions. Rehberg had nine kills, while McMath added six. Mansfield and Korn each had 11 assists, while Jeske and Flannery each added four aces apiece to lead the way. Lemner and Flannery each had 12 digs defensively in the victory.
The Inferno fell behind early in the opening set by an 8-4 margin before a service error gave the serve back to Alverno. After a few more miscues by the Lions, Lemner notched a service ace to even the set at eight. Freshman Rachel Manselle picked up a kill to put Alverno ahead 10-9 and spark a 7-1 rally to put the Inferno up by four.
With the Inferno leading 23-14, Trinity Bible scored the next three points to close Alverno's lead to six. Kills by Rehberg and McMath closed out the set for Alverno at a 25-17 score.
In the second set the Inferno opened with seven unanswered points, including a pair of kills by Rehberg and another from Jeske. The lead swelled to 17-13 before Alverno closed out the set with eight straight points including a service ace from freshman Isabelle Gemza. Jeske added three more kills in the final rally including the clinching 25th point to put Alverno ahead by two sets.
In the third, the two sides were more evenly matched with neither side getting more than a two-point lead until McMath's kill gave the Inferno a 14-11 advantage. The Lions continued to keep the set close through the waning stages, but it was ultimately Alverno to close out the set by a 25-20 score.
Alverno vs. Macalester
In its final match of the weekend Alverno was able to keep the scores close with host Macalester, but the Inferno were unable to pick up a set win falling by the scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 26-24.
Jeske had 12 kills on the match with Rehberg adding seven. Korn and Mansfield each had 14 assists, while Flannery led the defensive effort with 11 digs. Lemner and McMath had two aces apiece in the match.
All three sets were even throughout the contest with neither side taking large leads. The biggest advantage for either side was five by Macalester in the opening set.
Alverno vs. Carleton
The Inferno opened the tournament with its toughest opponent as Alverno squared off with Carleton. The Knights took the opening set 25-9 before closing out the match with 25-14 and 25-20 scores.
Alverno was led by Flannery with seven kills, while Newton and McMath each had four. Korn dished out 18 helpers, while McMath and Lemner both recorded aces. Korn and Newton led the way with six digs each on the defensive side of the ball.
Alverno vs. Grinnell
Following its loss to Carleton in the opener the Inferno matched up with Grinnell later in the evening. The Pioneers took the opening set 25-15 before going ahead by a pair with a 25-10 set two victory. Alverno needed extra points to get past Grinnell in the third at 26-24 before falling in the fourth by a 25-7 score.
Jeske had nine kills in the match, while McMath had a match-high 10 assists. Mansfield connected on four service aces, while the team combined for three blocks and 39 digs including a dozen by Lemner.
Alverno (2-12) will return home on Tuesday evening to take on Lakeland in another Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference contest. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. inside Reiman Gymnasium.