Volleyball’s Season Ends With Loss To Defending Champ Cal Lutheran

Posted on November 11th, 2016 by

Lauren Hanson led the Gusties with 11 kills.

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team’s season came to an end Friday at the NCAA regional semifinals, dropping a three-set match to defending national champion Cal Lutheran by scores of 25-15, 25-12, 25-23. The Gusties end their season 24-8 overall.

“I’m incredibly proud of how hard our team fought today,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “We came in hungry and ready to go. In the beginning we were a little bit on our heels and not totally us, and we faced some adversity, but coming back in the third set, we stuck together and left everything on the floor. That was a really proud moment for me as a coach. The chemistry on this team in unlike any I’ve ever coached before.”

Marisa Morgan stepped in as the setter after Holtan's injury.

Marisa Morgan stepped in as the setter after Holtan’s injury.

Cal Lutheran took a 9-5 lead to start the first set, forcing a Gustavus timeout. The Gusties found a rhythm on offense and fought back to within two points at 16-14. Gustavus star setter Nora Holtan (So., Rochester, Minn.) was injured on the play and unable to return for the remainder of the match. The adversity hit hard as the Regals rattled off seven straight points and claimed a 10-point win.

The Gusties and Regals traded points to start the second set, but a 10-1 Cal Lutheran run stole the momentum as it was able to take the second set in convincing fashion. The defending national champs rolled their momentum into the third set with an 11-6 advantage, but the Gusties would not go quietly as they went on a 6-1 run to tie the game 12-12. The Black and Gold eventually took the lead at 15-14 and maintained it until the Regals tied the game at 18-18. Gustavus took three of the next four points for a 21-19 lead, forcing a Cal Lutheran timeout. After the break the Regals went on a 6-2 run to steal the third set and claim the match.

The Cal Lutheran offense was firing on all cylinders, hitting .321 in the first, .429 in the second, and .200 in the third for a total attack percentage of .297. Hope Stewart led the Regals with a match-high 16 kills and a .344 hitting rate.

Lauren Hanson (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.) led the Gustie offense with 11 kills, finishing the season with 419, marking the second most single season kills by a Gustie since 1992. Stepping in for the injured Holtan, Marisa Morgan (Jr., Rockford, Ill.) distributed 17 assists. Anne Ladwig (Jr., Albert Lea, Minn.) led the defense with 10 digs.

The careers of Janessa Jahnke (Sr., Blue Earth, Minn.) and Taylor Trautman (Sr., Hutchinson, Minn.) came to an end today. Both were looked upon as leaders this season for a predominately young squad.

“I can’t imagine a day not going into the gym and not seeing those bright smiling faces, ready to be super gritty every single day,” Jahnke said. “Everybody on this team is ready to accept any sort of challenge we face, that’s what I admire so much about this team.”

“Volleyball has been so important to me,” Trautman added. “This culture and the way Ro [Coach Sherden] shapes this program is like nothing else. The reason it works is because every single player on this team buys into that and we 100 percent commit to it. It changes you as a person and makes you a better person. I couldn’t ask for more and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

 


One Comment

  1. Matt Eberhardt says:

    Awesome job ladies. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.