St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team is ready to host Macalester College in an MIAC contest on Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court. The Gusties and Scots will square off at 4:00 p.m. in a match that is billed as Alumni Day. Gustavus enters the weekend at 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC, while Macalester comes in at 10-7 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC.
Live stats for Saturday’s match will be provided by the Gustavus Sports Information Department.
Last Time Out – The Gustavus volleyball team looks to recover from a 3-0 setback suffered at the hands of Hamline University on Wednesday night at home in the Lund Center Forum. Hamline used a balanced front row attack and a scrappy defensive effort to pick up the sweep via set scores of 25-21, 25-23, and 26-24.
Gustavus finished with 39 kills and a .174 hitting percentage, while Hamline posted 47 kills and an attack percentage of .190. First-year Janessa Jahnke (Blue Earth, Minn.) led Gustavus’s offense with a match-high 13 kills to go along with a .270 attack percentage.
Junior libero Paige Breneman (Sherburn, Minn.) turned in one of her best performances of the season to lead the Gusties defensively. Breneman made a match-high 28 digs, equaling her season-best performance of 28 digs recorded earlier in the year against UW-Stout on Aug. 20.
The Series – Saturday’s match will serve as the 57th meeting between Gustavus and Macalester on the volleyball court. The Gusties hold the upper hand in the all-time series with a record of 39-16-1. In last season’s meeting between the two teams held on Sept. 22 in St. Peter, Gustavus picked up a 3-0 win through set scores of 25-23, 25-22, and 25-18. Gustavus’s last loss to the Scots came on Oct. 4, 2004 when Macalester cruised past the Gusties 3-0 in St. Paul. Since that match, Gustavus has rattled off eight straight victories.
Alumni Day – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball program is excited to welcome former student-athletes, coaches and friends of the program back to campus for its annual Alumni Match. Although the sport was played on campus much earlier, season records for volleyball at Gustavus begin in 1968 when legendary head coach Gretchen Koehler took over the program. A 2005 Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Koehler coached volleyball from 1968-to-1996. She retired from the job as the fifth-winningest coach in the history of Division III volleyball with 548 wins.
Gustavus has won a total of four MIAC Championships and holds an all-time record of 804-591-11. The program is home to three All-Americans in Linn Erickson (1985, 1986), Valerie Flom (1985, 1986), and Deborah Jungwirth (1986), and two MIAC Defensive Players-of-the-Year in Chrissy Homeier (2001) and Emily Klein (2006, 2007, 2008). Today, a total of 15 volleyball players are members of the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame.
Scouting Macalester – The Macalester volleyball team will be back on the court for the first time since its second conference match of the season, which took place Tuesday, Sept. 24 against Saint Mary’s. The Scots picked up their first league win in that match, defeating the Cardinals 3-1 at the Leonard Center in St. Paul.
Through their 17 matches this year, the Sots have proven to be an efficient offensive team. They are averaging 11.77 kills per set (7th/MIAC) and carry a team hitting percentage of .247 (3rd/MIAC). The Gusties will need to slow down Laura Avena who ranks fourth in the MIAC in kills with 179 (3.14 kps) and 10th hitting percentage at .284.
The statistics show a Macalester defense that relies on Cora Trout, Laura Avena, and Bailey Rehnberg. Trout leads the group with 146 digs (3.65 dps), Avena sits second on the team with 123 (2.16 dps), and Rehnberg rounds out the trio with 87 (1.58 dps).
Macalester’s setter to this point has been Kasey McMaster. McMaster has set her teammates up 379 times (7th/MIAC) for an average of 7.58 assists per set (6th/MIAC).
Gustavus’s back row will also need to be ready to face one of the most aggressive serving teams in the MIAC on Saturday. Although the Scots have made a league-high 140 service errors, they also lead the league in service aces with 134 for an average of 2.35 aces per set.