Alyssa Taylor And Marisa Morgan Earn All-Conference Honors

Posted on November 6th, 2014 by

Junior hitter Alyssa Taylor and first-year setter Marisa Morgan earn All-Conference honors in this year's MIAC postseason awards.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released its 2014 Volleyball Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 5, naming Gustavus Adolphus junior middle hitter Alyssa Taylor (Trimont, Minn.) and first-year setter Marisa Morgan (Rockford, Ill.) as two members of this season’s All-Conference Team.

The Gustavus volleyball program’s first two-time All-Conference performer since Emily Klein ’09 earned the honor back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008, Alyssa Taylor once again proved to be Gustavus’s most persistent, consistent, and dominant player at the net.

“A very deserving honor for Alyssa after another outstanding season,” said head Coach Rachelle Sherden.  “One of the strongest middles in our conference – both offensive and defensively – Alyssa elevated her all-around game to new heights this year.  Alyssa has a true attacker’s attitude and wants the ball every point.  Despite being the focal point of our opposition’s game-plan virtually every match, she continues to lead the way at the net and is the tone-setter for our offense.”

Alyssa Taylor finished the regular season the league's top blocker.

Alyssa Taylor finished the regular season the league’s top blocker.

Taylor played in all 26 matches and all 98 sets this season. She finished the season the team’s leading hitter for the second straight year with 284 kills (9th/MIAC) for an average of 10.1 kills per match and 2.9 kills per set. Taylor carried an attack percentage of .324 (6th/MIAC) and posted double-figure kills in 15 matches.  Alyssa reached the 20-kill mark on three occasions with her best performance of the year coming against Simpson in a 22-kill outing. Against Waldorf on Sept. 20, she hit .594 with 21 kills, which was the team’s top attack rate (minimum 12 kills) of 2014. Within conference play, Taylor ranked sixth in kills with 125 (3.12 kps) and fourth in attack percentage at .332.

To go along with her offensive proficiency, the Trimont, Minnesota product was also one of the top defensive front row players in the league with an MIAC-best 92 blocks (29 solo) for an average of 3.3 per match.

“For a first-year in a six-rotation, Marisa did a great job running our offense and made significant strides from the beginning to end of the season.,” said Sherden about her rookie setter.  “She still has a lot of room to grow over the next three years, which is very exciting for her and the future of Gustavus volleyball.”

In her first season of collegiate volleyball, Marisa Morgan displayed steady improvement, maturity, and poise – a future star in one of the nation’s most powerful conferences. Overall, Morgan distributed 824 assists (4th/MIAC) for an average of 29.4 assists per match and 8.4 assists per set. The rookie delivered 30 or more assists in 16 matches, which included a 57-assist performance against St. Olaf on Oct. 8. The Rockford, Illinois native also ranked third on the team with 210 digs and was the second-ranked offensive setter in the MIAC with 65 kills. Inside conference play, Morgan tallied 374 assists (5th/MIAC) for an average of 9.35 assists per set.

The 22-member All-Conference team and individual awards were nominated and voted on by the MIAC’s 12 head coaches.

This season’s 22-member All-MIAC team includes four players from Bethel, three each from St. Thomas, Augsburg and Saint Benedict, two each from Carleton, Saint Mary’s, Gustavus and Concordia and one from Hamline. The team includes 10 seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and two first-year players.

Marisa Morgan is the first Gustavus frosh in program history to earn All-Confernece honors.

Marisa Morgan is the first Gustavus frosh in program history to earn All-Confernece honors.

St. Thomas senior Kelly Foley became the first student-athlete to win the MIAC Volleyball Player-of-the-Year award three times. In addition to Foley historically claiming the conference’s top honor again, Augsburg Head Coach Jane Becker was named the MIAC Volleyball Coach-of-the-Year for second-straight season. Carleton’s Camille Benson was honored with the MIAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year award, and Bethel’s Kristin Stern was named the MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the ninth-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for volleyball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. This year, senior right side hitter Emily Gilman (Maple Grove, Minn.) represents the Three Crowns on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Gustavus finished sixth in the conference standings after going 6-5 in league play. As a result, the Gusties earned a spot in the MIAC Playoffs for the first time since 2011. They eventually fell in the quarterfinal round to Saint Benedict, finishing their season with an overall record of 11-15.

MIAC Release


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