Volleyball Wins In Four Sets Over Macalester To Stay Unbeaten In The MIAC

Posted on October 14th, 2015 by

Abby Leitch records a dig against Macalester. (Photo by Rachel Gunderson '16, Gustavus Sports Information)

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ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team defeated Macalester College in four sets Wednesday night to improve to 19-2 overall and 7-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Gusties won by set scores of 25-15, 25-6, 22-25 and 25-14 to increase their win streak to 19 matches, which is one behind the program record.

“We had an aggressive mentality tonight,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “We were working hard in transition and on defense, and we were really aggressive with our serves, that’s what went well for us.”

Taylor Trautman (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.) posted a career-high 17 kills on 27 attempts and three errors for an impressive attack percentage of .519 to lead the Gusties. Becca Woodstra (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) also reached double figure kills with 11. Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) distributed 39 assists and Brittany Luethmers (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.) had a game-high 22 digs.

Macalester started the first set with a purpose and took an early 5-2 lead. But the Gusties found a rhythm and responded with an 8-4 run to take a lead that they would not give up the rest of the set. The Scots got within three points at 15-12, but Gustavus rattled off a 9-3 run to close out the set. Throughout the four sets, the Gusties were most efficient on the attack in the first set with an attack rate of .424.

The second set was all Gustavus as it won by 19 points, which is the largest margin of victory in a set since 2010. The Gusties took the first six points and never looked back. The Scots were able to string two consecutive points together only once in the set. Leading 15-5, the Gusties claimed 10 of the final 11 points for the convincing win.

Macalester proved to have a short memory and came out firing in the third set to take a 12-5 advantage. The Scots held set point with a five-point lead, but the Gusties didn’t go away lightly. Gustavus put together four straight points to make the score 24-22, but a service error gave the Scots the win.

The fourth set turned the momentum back in favor of the Gusties as they jumped out to an 11-3 lead. Macalester would come within four points twice at 12-8 and 13-9, but the Black and Gold went on a 7-1 run to take a comfortable 20-10 advantage and then finished out the set.

“It’s helpful to come back after losing the third to win it in the fourth,” Sherden said. “We’ve come back from a lot of tight games where we’ve been down.”

The win streak of 19 matches is proving to help the confidence of the team, as Sherden has previously mentioned, but the Gustavus head coach also holds firm to the mentality that her squad cannot be satisfied or complacent.

“Our mentality is that we have a clean record and we have to come into the gym every single day and we have to earn it by working hard,” Sherden said. “We don’t even acknowledge our record. We have to play as if we are 2-19 instead of where we are now. I think our girls are confident and not cocky, and that’s the most import part.”

Gustavus next hosts a quadrangular Saturday starting at noon. The Gusties take on Simpson at 12 p.m. followed by a 3 p.m. match against Loras.

“It’s going to be really competitive,” Sherden said of Saturday’s quadrangular. “Simpson and Loras are both really good teams. They are not in our conference so I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I’m really excited for us to get back in the gym and keep getting better. We want to continue to keep mixing some things up on our offense so that’s what we are going to look forward to.”

 

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