Volleyball Runs The MIAC Table 11-0 With Straight Set Win Over Saint Mary’s Posted on October 31st, 2015 by

Lauren Hanson led the Gusties with nine kills against Saint Mary's. (photo courtesy of Rachel Gunderson '16, Gustavus sports information)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team beat Saint Mary’s in straight sets 25-17, 25-21 and 25-23 Saturday afternoon to finish the regular season 25-2 overall and a perfect 11-0 in the MIAC. The decisive victory gave the Gusties their 25th straight win, an undisputed regular season conference championship and marked the first perfect conference record since the 1985 team went 11-0 in the league.

“We came out disciplined and aggressive on both offense and defense,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “Our serves were on point and we got them out of system, which helped us because they are a really strong offensive team. Besides the third set when we were down for a while, I thought the momentum for the most part was on our side. Again, that was our aggressive mentality and discipline on defense.”

Gustavus posted a .286 attack percentage – highlighted by a .471 mark in the second set – compared to a .124 rate from the Cardinals. Each team had five service aces.

Alyssa Taylor goes up for a block against Saint Mary's.

Alyssa Taylor goes up for a block against Saint Mary’s.

The offense was evenly distributed among the Gusties with Lauren Hanson (Fy., Redwood Falls, Minn.) leading the way with nine kills. Taylor Trautman (Jr., Hutchinson, Minn.), Alyssa Taylor (Sr., Trimont, Minn.) and Becca Woodstra (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) tallied eight kills apiece. Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) distributed 31 assists. And Brittany Luethmers (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.) was the leading defender with 16 digs.

Gustavus trailed only once in the first set at 4-5, but then went on a 15-5 run and cruised to an eight-point victory. The Black and Gold then rolled its momentum into the second with an early 7-3 advantage. Saint Mary’s would crawl back into the game and eventually take the lead at 15-14, but the Gusties went on a 6-2 run to force a SMU timeout. After the break, the Cardinals would get within one point at 22-21, but consecutive kills from Holtan and Trautman followed by a SMU attack error gave the Gusties a 2-0 lead in the match.

Saint Mary’s made strong case to send the match into a fourth set by taking a 14-9 lead midway through the third, forcing a Gustavus timeout. The Cardinals continued to put the pressure on with three of the next five points, forcing Sherden to take her second timeout. The Gusties responded well after the break and scored the next four points to come within two at 17-15, but the Cardinals then went on a 5-2 run to take a five-point advantage. The Gusties buckled down and rattled off five straight points to tie the game at 22-22 and then finished it off with a pair of kills from Holtan and an SMU attack error.

Gustavus is the No. 1 seed in the MIAC Playoffs and has a first round bye. It will host the winner of the No. 4/5 game at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and the winner of that game advances to the conference championship next Saturday.

“We are not going to change anything going into playoffs,” Sherden said. “We don’t have to do anything special, we just have to continue to do what we are doing in the gym and continue to own who we are in our culture. We can’t change that based on the environment, the score or the opponent, which is a really hard thing to do. For the most part we have really bought into that this year, so that is 100 percent the mentality going into playoffs.”


One Comment

  1. Ted Rosenback - Marketplace Supervisor says:

    What great year !!! I am impressed!! Came to see my first game of the year and it was splendid!!!