St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team is set to head back into MIAC play with a match against conference-leader Augsburg College on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. on Gus Young Court. Gustavus will look to bounce back from an 0-2 showing on Saturday at the Northwestern Triangular, entering Wednesday’s contest at 8-11 overall and 3-2 in the MIAC. Augsburg comes in riding a 16-match winning-streak after going 4-0 at the Saint Mary’s Invitational last weekend. The Auggies are currently No. 17 in the country at 20-2 overall and 5-0 in the MIAC.
Last Time Out – The Gustavus volleyball team’s last action was on Saturday, Oct. 5 when the Gusties competed in the Northwestern Triangular held at the Ericksen Center in St. Paul. The Gusties dropped their first match of the day to UM-Morris 3-2 before suffering a 3-0 loss to Northwestern to close the triangular.
Against UM-Morris, Gustavus won the first set 25-19, yet the Cougars tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-22 win in the third. The Gusties took back the lead with a 25-18 win in the third, but UM-Morris answered with a 26-24 win in the fourth. The Cougars prevailed in the end with a 15-9 match-clinching victory in the fifth.
After a 25-15 loss in the first set and a 35-33 heartbreaker in the second, Gustavus could not get on back on track against Northwestern. The Eagles earned the sweep with a 25-21 win in the third.
In their two matches on Saturday, the Gusties averaged 12.9 kills per set and hit at a rate of .169. Kelle Nett (So., Spring Valley, Ill.) led the offense against UM-Morris in one of her best performances of the season. Nett posted a season/match-high 17 kills with an attack percentage of .533. Against Northwestern it was Janessa Jahnke (Fy., Blue Earth, Minn.) who led the way with 13 kills and a .357 hitting percentage.
Paige Breneman (Jr., Sherburn, Minn.), Haley Zweber (Fy., Rosemount, Minn.), and Rachel Mazzola (Fy., La Crosse Wis.) led the back row over the weekend, while Head Coach Rachelle Sherden used both Kendra Weege (Jr., Watertown, Minn.) and Taylor Meurer (Jr., Nicollet, Minn.) to set.
The Series – Wednesday night’s match will be the 66th meeting between Gustavus and Augsburg in volleyball. The Gusties have the upper hand in the all-time series with a record of 43-22. In last year’s contest between the two teams on Sept. 29 in Minneapolis, Augsburg cruised to a 3-0 win via set scores of 25-18, 25-17, and 25-13. Gustavus is 7-3 over the Auggies in the last 10 meetings of the matchup.
Scouting Augsburg – The Augsburg volleyball team enters Wednesday’s match one of the hottest teams in the country. Of Augsburg’s 16 wins in a row, 14 have come by way of 3-0 sweeps. The Auggies were most recently in action at the Saint Mary’s University Cardinal Invitational where they defeated Augustana (Ill.), Central (Iowa), UW-Eau Claire, and Dubuque all by the score of 3-0.
Augsburg is one of the top offensive teams in the MIAC, coming in with a total of 1,041 kills (1st/MIAC) for an average of 14.26 kills per set (2nd/MIAC). The Auggies have a team attack percentage of .251, which ranks third in the league.
Leading the offense is Ashley Peper who has recorded a league-best 338 kills (4.69 kps) and who holds an attack percentage of .352 (5th/MIAC). Colleen Ourada sits behind Peper with 274 kills (3.81 kps) and a .255 hitting percentage.
The back row of Augsburg is headed up by Katelyn Berens who ranks second in the league in total digs with 389 (5.33 dps). Mackensie Menke (199), Ourada (189), and Peper (181) sit behind Berens on the team’s dig list.
Setting for the Auggies all season long has been Emily McCourt. McCourt has dished out a total of 796 assists (1st/MIAC) for an average of 11.54 assists per set (2nd/MIAC).