Gusties Sweep Tommies To Claim Top Position In MIAC Standings

Posted on October 11th, 2017 by

Gusties celebrate a point. (Photo courtesy of Matt Berkner, Gustavus Sports Information)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 11-ranked Gustavus volleyball team swept the No. 19-ranked University of St. Thomas during Cancer Awareness Night at Gus Young Court Wednesday evening to take hold of the first place spot in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings.

“One thing that we have been working on is coming out strong right out of the gate, and it really shined through tonight,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “I think we started with a very aggressive mentality in everything that we were doing, especially our serving. I thought our block did a good job of slowing down a lot of their attacks. Everyone was kind of involved on offense and played pretty well.”

Gustavus 3, St. Thomas 0: 25-16, 25-19, 25-17 (Box Score)

In a matchup of the top two teams in the MIAC standings, the Gusties leaned on a hot start and held the momentum for the entire match to claim their seventh consecutive victory and fourth consecutive conference sweep.

The Black and Gold posted a .310 attack percentage, totaling 42 kills with 11 errors on 100 attempts while limiting the visiting Tommies to a .136 attack percentage. Gustavus also tallied 41 assists and eight service aces while leading St. Thomas in team blocks, 9-6.

Hanna Albers (Jr., St. Louis, Minn.) and Kate Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) led the Gustie attack, while Nora Holtan (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) set up the offense and guided the defense. Albers tallied 12 kills, followed by 11 from K. Holtan. N. Holtan notched her 12th double-double of the season with 30 assists and 16 digs, and is now just 25 assists away from 3,000 in her career. Claire Laakso (Sr., Bemidji, Minn.) led the team with five blocks.

Gustavus got off to a solid start in the first set, hitting its most efficient in the match at a rate of .379 with 13 kills while forcing eight Tommies errors, limiting them to a .030 attack percentage. Down 4-3 early, the Gusties posted four-straight points to lead 8-4 and didn’t look back, maintaining the lead for the rest of the set.

St. Thomas came out strong in the second set, jumping out to a 8-2 lead to force a Gustavus timeout. After the break, the home team was able to hit the reset button and steal back the momentum, going on an 8-1 run to force a Tommie timeout. The Gusties added four consecutive points after the break to grab a 13-10 lead and didn’t allow the Tommies to come within three points to take the set.

“Our game isn’t pounding the ball, it is about using our shots and mixing up our offense. As soon as we were more aggressive with our serves at the right people then we were back in the game, which was fun to see,” Sherden spoke on the team’s bounce back after the early setback to start the second set.

The Black and Gold carried the momentum into the final frame, jumping out to an early 6-0 lead and claiming a 10-point lead near the midway point. St. Thomas showed some push back with five consecutive points to cut the Gustie lead to 21-14 lead, but with a seven point lead they were able to hold on for the win.

“It was a special night to have Trina Rinke at our match and honor her for Ovarian Cancer Awareness night. She is an inspiration to our team. I’m also very proud of our awesome fans and the St. Thomas team for wearing teal in support of Trina. I love the Gustavus community and in my opinion we have the best fans in the country,” Sherden commented.

The Gusties, now 20-3 overall and 6-1 in the MIAC, will take the weekend off and return to Gus Young Court next Tuesday, hosting the University of Wisconsin-Stout for its final non-conference match of the season.



  1. gretchen Koehler says:

    great match nice job everyone #14 super night at the net

  2. Michael Albers says:

    Awesome match ladies, great job Coach Ro.