Volleyball Comeback Cut Short At Bethel Posted on September 22nd, 2017 by

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – Down two sets to none, the No. 10-ranked Gustavus volleyball team made a valiant comeback effort despite falling in the fifth set at Bethel University on Friday evening, dropping its overall record to 13-1 and 2-1 during Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“It was a good effort and a gritty match, however we made too many unforced errors,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “We were not ourselves to start and didn’t get into or rhythm until set three and four.”

Gustavus 2, Bethel 3: 26-28, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 9-15 (Box Score)

In a rematch of the 2016 MIAC Playoff Championship, the Gusties and Royals proved what was expected to be an exciting matchup. Up 14-9 in the first set, the Gustavus lead slowly slimmed down as the Royals battled back and eventually took the set, going up 1-0.

The two teams went back and forth in set two, seeing several lead changes to start. With the score knotted at 11-11, Bethel took control and maintained a slight lead for the rest of the set, hitting .227 to the Gusties’ .146 attack percentage.

Down 0-2 for the first time during the 2017 campaign, Gustavus looked to bounce back in the third set. They limited the Royals to a .087 attack percentage, while totaling 16 kills and claiming a 12-6 lead early on. The momentum stayed on the road team’s side of the court despite a late push by Bethel, cutting the Royal lead to 2-1.

The Gustavus momentum carried into the fourth set, in which the Black and Gold played at its best of the match. The Gusties compiled 19 kills and five errors for an attack percentage of .292 and were able to put together a few three-point streaks to start the set, grabbing a 13-9 lead. With the score then tied 17-17, Gustavus scored six consecutive points and eventually took the set as the comeback was on.

Despite the strong effort in the third and fourth, Bethel took control in the final set, jumping out to a 12-6 lead and holding on for the win and improving to 2-1 in the conference.

Hanna Albers (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.), Lauren Hanson (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn.), and Kate Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) each recorded season-high kill totals. Albers and Hanson led the way with 19 each, while K. Holtan added 14. Nora Holtan (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) recorded her third-straight double-double with a season-high 56 assists and 16 digs, also owning a team-best .304 attack percentage with nine kills. Libero Brittany Luethmers (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) also tallied season-high totals with 34 digs.

“We are looking forward to an opportunity tomorrow to get back into the gym for another very competitive match. I also want to congratulate Bethel Head Coach Gretchen Hunt on her 300 wins. That’s a huge accomplishment and I have a lot of respect for her and her program,” Sherden commented.

Gustavus is back at Gus Young Court tomorrow afternoon, hosting the University of Northwestern-St. Paul for a homecoming matchup at 3 p.m.


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