ALBION, Mich. – The Albion College volleyball team is undefeated at home this season, but Tuesday night may have been its best performance yet.
Kelsey Gustafson and Taylor Rosenthal collected 12 kills apiece, Kate Winter added 11 kills and Monica Shuk and Kaitlyn Gilchrist combined for seven of the team's 11 aces as the Britons sailed past Adrian College in four sets (25-17, 25-15, 20-25, 25-14).
"We played our most consistent match, which has been the focus of our recent practices," Albion Coach Kristin de St. Aubin said. "We want to control the tempo, our first contact (with the ball) and minimize our unforced errors at the beginning of the set.
"We controlled our first contact on the serve and passed great," de St. Aubin added. "Our passing gave us multiple options on the attack."
Shuk served two aces and Gilchrist and Marie Pregenzer terminated points as Albion won seven of eight points in building a 10-5 lead in the first set. Albion scored five in a row later in the set – Winter had two kills, Gilchrist had another and Pregenzer served an ace – to build a 18-9 lead.
Pregenzer terminated a point and she joined Gilchrist on the block as Albion scored five in a row to build a 16-10 lead in the second set.
The only hiccup Albion had all night was the start of the third set. Adrian scored the first five points and led by as many as eight. The Britons rallied to score six of seven points to come within two, 13-11, and later scored three in a row to trail, 15-14. Adrian did not crack down the stretch as it forced a fourth set.
Albion got back to its multiple option attack as kills by Gustafson, Winter, Pregenzer and Gilchrist and an ace by Angela Adams were part of a five-point run.
Shuk collected a team-high 20 digs in addition to her passing. Setter Grace VanDorn dished out 40 assists and added 11 digs to complete her 17th double-double of the season.
Albion (13-10 overall, 7-4 MIAA) travels to Notre Dame, Ind., Friday for a 7 p.m. league match against Saint Mary's College.
Follow the Britons on twitter: @AlbionVball