Volleyball Falls To Northwestern In Five-Set Thriller

Posted on September 23rd, 2017 by

Shaefer Rupar goes up for the serve. (Photo courtesy of Mikeal Brickley, Gustavus Sports Information)

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 10 ranked Gustavus volleyball team fell in five sets for the second night in a row, losing its first home match since 2014 against the No. 12-ranked University of Northwestern-St. Paul Saturday afternoon at Gus Young Court during homecoming.

“It was a very gritty effort by both teams,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “I thought after the first two sets we really got into a groove and were ready to rally.”

Gustavus 2, Northwestern 3: 23-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 13-15 (Box Score)

The Gusties once again found themselves in a hole, down two sets to none as they were a night ago at Bethel University.

Gustavus began its comeback effort in the third set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead before the Eagles came within one at 12-11. The Gusties hit .205 and totaled 13 kills while forcing eight Northwestern errors, taking the set. They carried the momentum into the fourth set, hitting efficiently with a .270 attack percentage with 12 kills while the Eagle hit. 041 and had 12 errors.

Despite a strong sets three and four by Gustavus, Northwestern found a way to regain momentum in the rubber match. The Eagles held several three-point leads before the Gusties came within one, trailing 10-9 and forcing a road team timeout. Four-straight Eagle points then set the lead to 14-11, where they were able to hold on for the win.

Four Gusties posted double-digit kill performances, with Hanna Albers (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) leading the way 15, followed by 13 from Kate Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.), 12 from Lauren Hanson (Jr., Redwood Falls, Minn.), and 10 from Nora Holtan (Jr., Rochester, Minn.).

N. Holtan also tallied 34 assists and 16 digs to notch her second triple-double of the season. Brittany Luethmers (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) tied her season-high assist mark from last night with nine while leading the defense with 27 digs.

“The outcome wasn’t what we wanted but this was a good challenge for us at this point in the season. We will look to build off of what we learned during these last two matches and grow as a team next week,” said Sherden.

Gustavus returns to Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, hosting Macalester College Wednesday evening at Gus Young Court.

 

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