Volleyball Defeats Aurora 3-1 In Opening Round Of NCAA Tournament

Posted on November 9th, 2017 by

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team opened the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Aurora University on the campus of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.

Gustavus 3, Aurora 1: 23-25, 25-15, 27-25, 25-15 (Box Score) | Press Conference | Photo Gallery

Aurora took the first set over the Gusties prior to the Black and Gold regaining their footing in the second set and rolling from then on out. Kate Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) and Hanna Albers (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) led the Gustavus attack. Holtan tallied 20 kills and posted a .311 hitting percentage, while Albers registered 17 kills and hit at a rate of .317. Nora Holtan (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) paced the offense with double-double numbers, notching 46 assists and 11 digs. Brittany Luethmers (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) led the defense with 26 digs. As a team, the Gusties totaled 65 kills with a .257 hitting percentage to go along with 76 digs and five aces.

Both teams played well to start the match in the first set, with the Gusties recording 18 kills and a .250 attack percentage. After four early lead changes, the Spartans claimed a 9-5 lead with four-straight points. From then on, they maintained their lead despite Gustavus making things interesting near the end as they came within one point at 23-24.

The Black and Gold stepped up their game and evened the match at 1-1 in set two, limiting Aurora to a .000 hitting percentage while forcing nine errors. Gustavus was efficient on the attack with a .324 attack percentage. A back and forth start set the score at 7-7 before the Gusties went on an 18-8 run to close out the set.

An intense ending to the third set allowed Gustavus to carry momentum into the fourth set in which they outmatched the Spartans significantly. Seesaw action throughout highlighted the third set. With a chance to go up a set with a 24-21 lead, the Gusties roared back and won the set on a 6-1 run.

Driven by the third set finish, Gustavus played its best in the final frame, hitting at a match-high rate of .423 while Aurora was limited to a .042 attack percentage and seven kills, compared to 14 from the Gusties. Jumping out to a 15-5 lead, the Black and Gold didn’t look back and secured the win in the first ever meeting against the Spartans.

Gustavus is set to face Wartburg College in a NCAA Regional Semifinal match tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. The matchup will mark the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams, with the Gusties riding a three-game winning streak. Gustavus defeated the Knights 3-1 previously this season and defeated Wartburg 3-0 in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament last season.


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