2015 Gustavus Adolphus Volleyball Season Preview

Posted on September 3rd, 2015 by

The 2015 Gustie volleyball team. (Photo courtesy of SPX Sports)

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus volleyball team returns all but one starter for its 2015 campaign, which has the Gusties sights set high.

“We are working on being in the moment and taking each game match-by-match and point-by-point, but our main goal is to play in the conference championship,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “We’ve talked about it once and now it’s all about the process. It’s in the back of our minds and we just talk about what we have to do every single day, every drill and every point in order to get there. And they understand that so far. They’ve been working really hard in the gym and I’m seeing changes happen quickly. I’m seeing them compete harder than I’ve seen in the past. They’ve got this new rejuvenated competitiveness in the gym.”

The Gusties are coming off a season where they finished 11-15 overall and sixth in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 5-6 mark. The Gusties last year also made their first MIAC Playoff appearance since 2011, but lost 3-0 to the College of Saint Benedict in the opening round.

Senior captain Alyssa Taylor returns as a two-time All-MIAC performer.

Senior captain Alyssa Taylor returns as a two-time All-MIAC performer.

The Gustavus attack is led once again by two-time All-MIAC performer Alyssa Taylor (Sr., Trimont, Minn.). Last season Taylor, a middle hitter, posted a .324 attack percentage, which ranked fifth in the conference. The Martin County West High School product also ranked second in the MIAC with 92 total blocks, averaging a league-leading 0.94 per set.

Setter Marisa Morgan (So., Rockford, Ill.) also returns as a 2014 All-MIAC member. In her first season wearing the Black and Gold, Morgan led the team with 824 assists, ranking fourth in the conference.

Other key contributors to the Gustie offensive attack include outside hitter Becca Woodstra (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) and middle hitter Kelle Nett (Sr., Spring Valley, Ill.). Woodstra last season was second on the team with 212 kills, while Nett was right behind in third with 147 kills.

Seniors Taylor, Woodstra and Nett are this season’s captains and have already set the standard for how the team is going to accomplish its goal of reaching the conference title game.

“They have done an amazing job from day one, welcoming our freshman and setting the tone for the way we run things in our program both off and on the court,” Sherden said of her senior captains. “One of our big themes is ‘the power of team,’ and they really epitomize that and walk the talk. It’s nice when the coach walks in and I have something on my mind and they’re already saying it. They are ready for everything and have bought into that role and they’ve taken a ton of ownership in the program. I’ve done a lot less talking, which is really nice.”

Sophomore setter Marisa Morgan earned All-MIAC honors last season after posting 824 assists.

Sophomore setter Marisa Morgan earned All-MIAC honors last season after posting 824 assists.

Rounding out the early season starting rotation includes middle hitter Taylor Trautman (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.), outside hitter Lauren Hanson (Fy., Redwood Falls, Minn.), defensive specialists Abby Leitch (So., Mankato, Minn.) and Brittany Luethmers (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.) and setter Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.).

By returning all but one starter, coupled with nine first-year players, Sherdan is excited about the potential of this year’s squad.

“By having that strong freshman class, the upperclassmen and returners, it may look a little different on the court, but they are ready to go,” Sherden said. “For the first-years or if returners are playing a new position, it’s just really started to click in the last week.”

Gustavus begins its 2015 season at 6 p.m., Sept. 4 against Cornell College in the UW-Platteville Tournament. The Gusties then face UW-Platteville at 8 p.m. The following day, Gustavus faces Ripon College at 10 a.m. followed by Westminster College at 12 p.m.

 

 

2015 Gustavus Media Guide

2015 Gustavus Roster

2015 Gustavus Schedule

 

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