Volleyball Locks Up No. 2 Seed For MIAC Playoffs, Holtan Reaches 2,000-Assist Mark

Posted on October 26th, 2016 by


ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team Wednesday locked up the No. 2 seed and a first round bye in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoffs with a shutout victory over Hamline University. The Gusties defeated the Pipers 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 to improve to 21-6 overall and 9-1 in the MIAC.

“We are playing the way we want to be right now,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “It’s nice to have the two seed for playoffs, but our focus right now is to be prepared for Saturday and close out the regular season on a high note.”

Sophomore setter Nora Holtan (Rochester, Minn.) reached a monumental milestone in her young career by becoming just the sixth Gustavus volleyball player to surpass the 2,000-assist mark in program history. Holtan tallied 30 assists against the Pipers and currently sits at 2,005 career assists.

“Nora set one of her best matches, while ‘Traut’ [Taylor Trautman] and ‘Lo’ [Lauren Hanson] led the offense,” Sherden said. “Our serving was smart and aggressive. It was a really fun match. Hamline was super scrappy and we had a lot of long rallies.”

The first set started out back and forth leading up to a 13-11 advantage for the Gusties midway through the frame. Gustavus then scored four straight points and never trailed the rest of the way. The Pipers made it interesting with a 7-2 run to come within one point at 21-20, but the Gusties went on a 5-1 run to close out the set.

The second set was a game of streaks as the Gusties started with a 9-2 lead to force a Hamline timeout. The Pipers responded with a 9-2 run of their own to force a Gustavus timeout, tied at 11. The Black and Gold answered immediately after the break with an 11-2 run en route to an eight-point win.

Gustavus started the third set with a 9-6 lead, but the Pipers came back with a 6-1 run to take a 12-10 advantage. The Gusties answered with four straight points to regain the lead and never trailed for the remainder of the game. Hamline tied the score four more times, the last at 23-23, but a Piper service error followed by an Anne Ladwig (Jr., Albert Lea, Minn.) kill sealed the victory.

Lauren Hanson (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.) led the offense with 12 kills, while Taylor Trautman (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) was a big contributor with eight kills. Brittany Luethmers (So., Prior Lake, Minn.) and Ladwig led the back line with 15 and 14 digs, respectively.

Gustavus wraps up the regular season Saturday at Saint Mary’s. First serve is set for 3 p.m.


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