Volleyball Wins 10th Straight, Defeats St. Olaf 3-0

Posted on September 23rd, 2015 by

Lauren Hanson goes up for a kill during the straight-set victory over St. Olaf. (photo courtesy of AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)


ST. PETER, Minn. – In front of an excited student body, the Gustavus volleyball team captured its 10th consecutive victory Wednesday night at Gus Young Court, defeating St. Olaf in straight sets to improve to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Gusties won by set scores of 25-13, 25-18 and 25-17.

St. Olaf struggled coming into Wednesday’s match with five straight losses, but Gustavus Head Coach Rachelle Sherden wasn’t about to overlook the Oles.

“We didn’t change anything. The game plan was the same that it’s been all season and St. Olaf has had a lot of really close games with really good teams,” she said. “So I knew if we weren’t on point and playing our game that they are the team that is going to come and sneak in. Especially with Walt [Weaver] as their coach, I just thought that was going to be the case. Our team did well, but we definitely have some stuff that we need to work on and get better at tomorrow. I thought at certain moments it was unclean and not totally our game. But I’m happy with our second conference win.”

The Oles came out in the first set and took a quick 4-2 advantage, but the Gusties responded with six straight points and never relinquished the lead. The Black and Gold led by as much as 13 points at 21-8 before the Oles rattled off four straight points, but it was too little too late as the Gusties went on a 4-1 run to close out the set.

The two squads battled back and forth to begin the second set with three lead changes and nine ties, resulting in a 14-14 score midway through the set. But that’s when the Gusties took over with seven consecutive points. Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) recorded three service aces in the 7-0 run to give the Gusties the boost they needed and the team responded with a seven-point victory.

To start the third set, the Oles once again took the first point, but that would be their last lead of the game as the Gusties went on a 9-2 run and never looked back. St. Olaf got within two points midway through the set, but Gustavus went on an 8-3 run to close out the match.

The Gustie defense limited the Oles to a pedestrian .058 team attack percentage, while the home team’s attack rate was .189.

Alyssa Taylor (Sr., Trimont, Minn.) led the offense with 12 kills on 22 attempts with one error for a .500 attack percentage. Taylor also led the team with three blocks.

Holtan distributed 27 assists and led the Gusties with five service aces. Brittany Luethmers (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.) dug out 15 attacks, while Becca Woodstra (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) also contributed to the defensive effort with 10 digs. As a team, Gustavus posted a .973 serve percentage with a season-high 10 service aces, which was a key point to the victory.

“We had numerous aces and our serving was really aggressive,” Sherden said. “We kept them out of system and kept their middles out of the offense, which was helpful for us. That was the biggest thing that I saw.”

The Gusties next host Bethany Lutheran College at 7 p.m., Sept. 25 in a non-conference match.


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