St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus College volleyball team is set to host the 2013 Gustavus Volleyball Invitational this weekend on Gus Young Court in St. Peter, Minn. Along with the host Gusties, participating teams in this weekend’s tournament include Augsburg College, Bethany Lutheran College, Central College, University of Minnesota-Morris, UW-River Falls, and Simpson College.
The Gustavus Invitational will begin on Friday, Sept. 13 with matches taking place at 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Saturday, Sept. 14 with matches being played at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Matches will be contested simultaneously on courts 1 and 2 in the Lund Center Forum.
The Gustavus Invitational features a field made up of seven teams who come from four different NCAA Division III conferences including the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). Gustavus and Augsburg represent the MIAC, Central and Simpson represent the IIAC, UW-River Falls represents the WIAC, and Bethany Lutheran and UM-Morris represent the UMAC.
Simpson enters the tournament as the only unbeaten team with a record of 4-0. At 8-1 overall, UW-River Falls is coming into the weekend riding an eight-match winning-streak. Augsburg has won its last three matches and is next in line with a 7-2 mark. UM-Morris has played the most matches and is 5-5, while Gustavus heads in at 2-6. Central enters at 2-4, and Bethany Lutheran sits at 1-7.
Of the teams in the field, the Auggies fly into the weekend with the top two hitters, defensive specialist, and setter. Ashley Peper (So. Bloomington, Minn.) and Colleen Ourada (Sr., Omaha, Neb.) have recorded 136 and 128 kills, respectively, to lead all attackers in the tournament. Auggie defensive specialist Katelyn Berens (Sr., Jordan, Minn.) has registered 203 digs, while her teammate, setter Emily McCourt (Sr., Sun Prairie, Wis.), has posted 336 assists.
Aside from Augsburg’s top two attackers, top hitters to watch also include UM-Morris’s Abby Tietz (So., Moorhead, Minn.) and Emily Auch (Jr., Benson, Minn.) who have 113 and 109 kills, respectively, and UW-River Falls’s Jean Theis (Sr., Shakopee, Minn.) who has 91 kills.
Other back row players to look out for are Kaylie Clark (Sr., Garden Plain, Kan.) of UM-Morris, Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) of Gustavus, Lexi Pingel (So., Buffalo, Minn.) of UW-River Falls, and Jessi Jurries (Jr., Trimont, Minn.) of Bethany Lutheran. Clark has tallied 183 digs, Breneman has 141, Pingel has 132, and Jurries has 130.
Setters to keep your eye on along with Augsburg’s McCourt will be Gustie Taylor Meurer (Jr., Nicollet, Minn.), Courgars Mandy Allman (Sr., Nevis, Minn.) and Kayley Siekmann (Fy., Glendale, Ariz.), and Falcon Alyssa Anderson (So., Mahtomedi, Minn.). Meurer has dished out 266 assists, Allman is next with 219, Anderson has 174, and Siekmann has 149.
The Gustavus Adolphus Sports Information Department has created a website to make it easy for fans to follow the action this weekend’s tournament. A tournament website featuring a complete schedule, results, box scores, statistics, and the 2013 Gustavus Invitational All-Tournament Team can be found via the link below.