Volleyball Wins In Straight Sets Over St. Thomas

Posted on October 3rd, 2015 by

Alyssa Taylor goes up for one of her seven kills in the win over St. Thomas. (photo courtesy of AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)


ST. PETER, Minn. – For the first time since 1997, the Gustavus volleyball team beat the University of St. Thomas. The Gusties won on Saturday in straight sets 25-21, 26-24 and 25-16, also marking the first shutout over UST since 1985.

Gustavus improves to 14-2 overall and 5-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while also extending its win streak to 14 matches, which is tied for the second longest streak in the 47-year history of the program.

“To be honest, that was one of the best matches we’ve played, especially defensively,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “Our theme of the season has been ‘better than yesterday’ so it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, we have to go into the gym the next day with the mentality that we have to get better so we can continue to reach our goal at the end.”

Abby Leitch goes down for a dig against St. Thomas. (photo by AJ Dahm)

Abby Leitch goes down for a dig against St. Thomas. (photo by AJ Dahm)

Gustavus started the opening set with a 7-2 lead and held the advantage the rest of the way. The Tommies came within one point at 12-11, but that was the closest they got as the Gusties won by four points.

The second set was much more tightly contested as the two squads battled back and forth. Gustavus held the lead for the majority of the game, but the Tommies scored three straight points late in the set to tie it up 20-20. Sherden called a timeout to settle her squad, but St. Thomas captured four of the next six points to take a 24-22 lead and held set point. Sherden called her second timeout and this time her squad responded with four consecutive points for the win.

“I told the team that at that point they were trying to do too much and they weren’t playing in the moment,” Sherden said of what she told her team in the second timeout. “They were trying to do something that wasn’t Gustie ball. So I said, ‘All you have to do is go out there and practice what we do every single day. Nothing special.’ And then they settled down and had the mentality to push through.”

Gustavus showed its aggressiveness in the third set and never trailed, resulting in a convincing nine-point victory.

“Coming into the third set we talked about having a super aggressive mentality the entire time and making sure we were on point and doing all the little things well,” Sherden said. “Our defense was on point tonight, so that is what carried us through.”

The Gustie defense held the Tommies to a .117 attack percentage (30-111, 17 errors), while the offense posted a .200 attack rate (45-130, 19 errors).

Lauren Hanson (Fy., Redwood Falls, Minn.) led the attack with a match-high 15 kills on 28 attempts and five errors for a .357 kill rate. Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) contributed 31 assists and 10 digs for another double-double, while two other Gusties also tallied double digit digs – Brittany Luethmers (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.) with 15 and Taylor Trautman (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) with 12.

Gustavus next has a non-conference match at Martin Luther College at 7 p.m. on Oct 6.


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