Volleyball Earns 3-1 Victory Over St. Catherine In MIAC Opener

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by

The Gustavus volleyball team enjoyed great fan support in its first MIAC match of the season on Wednesday night against St. Kate's. Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm - Sport PiX.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team got the turnaround victory it was looking for with a 3-1 win over St. Catherine University in the MIAC-opener on Wednesday night at Gus Young Court. After trading the opening sets with Gustavus winning the first 25-14 and St. Catherine winning the second 25-23, the Gusties settled in to take the third 25-21 and the fourth 25-18. Gustavus improves to 5-8 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while St. Kate’s drops to 8-6 overall and 0-1 in the MIAC.

“It was a step forward for this team to earn a win in the conference-opener, especially when we were forced to battle back on a couple of occasions,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “Even though we’ve let a couple matches slip away from us this season, it was promising to see the team show such resiliency when faced with those similar situations. We’d been in these positions before and we took care of business.”

The Gusties jumped all over the Wildcats in the opening set, going up 8-2 early and eventually using a 7-2 scoring run to push their lead to 17-6. There was no looking back from that point on as Gustavus cruised to a 25-14 win in the opening frame.

St. Catherine played much-improved in the second set. The two team’s went back-and-forth before Gustavus began to make a run hallway through the frame. With a 13-12 lead, Gustavus scored five of the next seven points to go up 18-14. From there, St. Kate’s began to slowly chip away at the lead. Eventually the Wildcats knotted the set at 22-22. After trading points to bring the score to 23-23, St. Catherine scored two straight points to take the set 25-23 and tied the match at 1-1.

Although St. Catherine looked to be in control of the momentum by grabbing an 18-14 lead at one point of the third set, the Black and Gold responded with eight straight points on the serve of Paige Breneman (Sr., Sherburn, Minn.) to go up 22-18. The scoring spree did St. Kate’s in, as Gustavus took the frame 25-21 and control of the match on top 2-1.

In the fourth, Gustavus took an fast lead and wouldn’t once relinquish it or allow St. Kate’s to match it. Thanks to an early 8-2 scoring run, the Gusties went up 16-8. Trailing 17-10 at one point, St. Catherine refused to go away. The Wildcats battled back to bring the score within two points down 18-16. Gustavus put an end to any comeback hopes, concluding the match with a 7-2 run for a 25-18 victory.

“Not only did we make several outstanding runs, we also limited theirs to one or two points for the majority of the match,” Sherden said. “We were able to bounce back from errors faster and focus on the play at hand.”

Gustavus’s offense was led by junior Becca Woodstra (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn.) who finished with a team-high 13 kills and a .257 attack percentage. Behind Woodstra was Alyssa Taylor (Jr., Trimont, Minn.) and Taylor Trautman (So., Hutchinson, Minn.) who both recorded seven kills. As a team, Gustavus finished the game with 46 kills and an attack percentage of .947.

“The offense was much-improved from last weekend and it was good to see us get into rhythm and mix it up,” said Sherden. “Our serve was good as well. We got St. Kate’s out of its system through by being aggressive all night.”

Marisa Morgan (Fy., Rockford, Ill.) ran the show this evening, finishing with 37 assists to along with 11 digs. Abby Leitch (Fy., Mankato, Minn.) led the team in digs with 23, which matches her season-best total thus far. Paige Breneman also recorded double-figure digs with 18 in the match.

“Our passing was also a bright spot of tonight’s match,” Sherden concluded. “If we can find that same consistency and are able to stay in system, I expect us to win a lot of matches.”

The Gustavus volleyball team will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 20 with a home match against Waldorf College set for 3:00 p.m.

Box Score

 

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