AVCA Names Sherden Region Coach Of The Year, Taylor And Holtan Also Honored

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by

Rachelle Sherden

Rachelle Sherden

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its Division III Regional Awards on Thursday and three Gusties were honored. Rachelle Sherden was named Central Region Coach of the Year, while Alyssa Taylor (Sr., Trimont, Minn.) was named All-Region as a middle blocker and Nora Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) was named Honorable Mention and the Central Region Freshman of the Year.

Coach Rachelle Sherden, in her sixth season at the helm of the Gustavus volleyball program, directed the Gusties to a program record 27-match winning streak en route to their first conference championship since 1986. The improvement from an 11-15 overall record last year to a 27-3 mark this season is the greatest turnaround in the 47-year history of Gustavus volleyball. Coach Sherden helped this season’s squad fulfill its potential as it was picked to finish sixth in the MIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Sherden’s Region Coach of the Year award is the first by a Gustavus head coach.

Alyssa Taylor

Alyssa Taylor

Alyssa Taylor becomes the first Gustavus volleyball player to earn All-Region honors since Rachel Batalden in 2004. After 30 matches played this season, Taylor, a middle hitter, ranks first in the MIAC with a .341 attack percentage and first with 35 solo blocks. The Martin County West product led the team in kills (312), kills per set (3.09) and total blocks (115). Throughout her three seasons wearing the Black and Gold, Taylor recorded 946 career kills, which ranks 15th in program history.

Nora Holtan

Nora Holtan

Nora Holtan becomes the first Gustavus volleyball player to earn Region Freshman of the Year honors. In her first season at Gustavus, Holtan ranks second in the league in both assists (944) and assists per set (8.91). As the team’s setter, Holtan directed the Gusties to a .231 attack percentage, which ranks second in the MIAC. The Rochester, Minn. native also proved to be a solid defender with 271 digs, which is third most on the team. Holtan was not afraid to send the ball quickly over the net if she saw an opening. Throughout the season she recorded multiple kills on fake sets and totaled 129 kills (1.22 per set). On the serve, Holtan posted a team-leading 31 aces in 30 matches this year.

AVCA Release



  1. gretchen koehler says:

    well done and deserved congrates

  2. Julie Dosch says:

    Such a darn proud Mom of our daughter Rachelle, Coach of the Year! This year has been such a fun journey and watching you grow, not only as a coach, but as a beautiful person and role model, makes my heart so proud! Watching this team grow as a family has also been so rewarding! They are such a great bunch both on and off the court and deserve a huge applause for their leadership! You will all have such bright futures no matter what you pursue!

  3. Al Molde says:

    Awesome! I am so proud of you, Rachelle! Keep those Gusties rolling!