Volleyball Wins Home Opener In Shutout Fashion Over Martin Luther

Posted on September 7th, 2016 by

Taylor Trautman posted a season-high 17 kills in the home opener.


ST. PETER, Minn. – Playing in front of its home crowd for the first time this season, the Gustavus volleyball team didn’t disappoint, treating the fans to a straight-set victory (25-20, 25-17, 25-21) over Martin Luther College on Wednesday, improving to 4-1 overall.

“It was fun. We had a great fan turnout,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “Their energy was great for the first game and I think our girls were a little nervous playing in front of the home crowd for the first time, but we turned out to be fine.”

The Gusties got out to an early lead in the first set and never trailed. The Knights were able to tie the score five time, but Sherden’s squad went on a 6-1 spree to close out the set.

The second frame started off in Gustavus’s favor as it jumped out to a 9-3 lead. The Knights once again made it close and cut the deficit to three midway through the set, but the Gusties grabbed seven of the last 10 points to secure the win.

Martin Luther took its first lead of the match early in the third set, leading 8-2 after 10 volleys. The Gusties answered with a 6-1 run to bring the score within one, but the Knights responded with three straight points to create a four-point buffer at 12-8. That’s when the Gusties rattled off seven straight points to take its first lead of the set. The Knights battled back and regained the lead at 20-18, forcing a Gustavus timeout.

“We weren’t playing our game,” Sherden said of the third set. “It felt a little chaotic and tense. We weren’t trusting each other and connecting the way we usually do. It’s important to stay in our flow and we got back to that toward the end. Martin Luther played so scrappy and their attackers were really aggressive.”

After the timeout, the Black and Gold won three consecutive volleys to take a 21-20 advantage. Martin Luther scored the next point, but the Gusties claimed the final three for the win.

Taylor Trautman (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) was the go-to attacker as she belted a season-high 17 kills on 31 attempts (.387). Nora Holtan (So., Rochester, Minn.) fed the hot hand and finished with 31 assists.

“’Traut’ wasn’t were she wanted to be this week in terms of playing to her abilities, and she came back with a vengeance tonight,” Sherden said. “Nora felt that energy and those two connected really well tonight.”

The Gusties next participate in the Loras College Tournament Friday and Saturday. Their first test is at 3 p.m. Friday against Cornell followed by a 5 p.m. match against No. 13-ranked Carthage.

“We are really excited about the competition,” Sherden said. “Every match will be a battle.”


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