St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team will travel to St. Paul to take on No. 3-ranked University of St. Thomas on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in Schoenecker Arena. Gustavus enters Saturday’s contest at 6-7 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC after defeating Carleton 3-0 on Wednesday night in St. Peter. St. Thomas comes in at 10-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC following a 3-0 home victory over Macalester in its MIAC-opener on Wednesday night.
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Last Time Out – The Gustavus women’s volleyball team kicked off its MIAC season with an efficient 3-0 win over Carleton on Wednesday night on Gus Young Court. Gustavus cruised to the sweep with set wins of 25-19, 25-16, and 25-15. The Gusties hit at a rate above .250 in all three sets, posting team attack percentages of .324 in the first set, .263 in the second, and .273 in the third. Alyssa Taylor (Jr., Trimont, Minn.) led the offense with 12 kills and a .310 hitting percentage. Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.) led the back row with 17 digs, while Taylor Meurer (Jr., Nicollet, Minn.) did the setting and finished with 30 assists.
The Series – Saturday’s match marks the 50th meeting between Gustavus and St. Thomas on the volleyball court. St. Thomas holds the advantage in the all-time series with a record of 32-16-1. In last season’s meeting between the two squads, St. Thomas earned a 3-0 victory over Gustavus on Gus Young Court. The Tommies earned the sweep with set wins of 25-23, 25-15, and 25-23.
Steady Improvement – Wednesday night’s victory over Carleton was another example of steady improvement from a Gustavus squad that began the year with six losses in its first eight matches. Beginning with a 3-1 win over UW-Eau Claire to cap the Augsburg Invitational, Gustavus has five of its last six matches. Through their opening seven contests of the season, the Gusties hit .200 or better as a team just once. Over the last six matches, Gustavus has hit over .200 five times with season-best offensive efficiency rates of .330 and .388 coming against Central and Bethany, respectively. Within that same time-span, the Gusties carry a hitting percentage of .251, which is welcomed improvement compared their season average of .188.
MIAC Openers – During the Rachelle Sherden era of Gustavus volleyball, the Gusties have won their MIAC-opener in three of four years. Although Gustavus opened MIAC play with a 3-0 loss to St. Thomas last season, the Black and Gold defeated St. Olaf 3-2 in 2011 and Macalester 3-1 in 2010.