Volleyball Captures NCAA Region Title, Advances To ‘Elite 8’

Posted on November 11th, 2017 by


ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gustavus volleyball punched its ticket to the NCAA quarterfinals Saturday night, upsetting region host and No. 1 seed Northwestern-St. Paul in four sets. The Gusties captured their first region championship in program history and reach the “Elite 8” for the first time since 1984.

Gustavus’s victory did not come easy as it faced adversity early on. Northwestern set the tone in the first set, cruising to a convincing 25-11 victory in the opening frame. The Gusties proved to have a short memory as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second. After Northwestern used it first timeout, the Gusties continued to put on the pressure with a 9-6 run to force the home team’s second timeout. The Eagles got within six points at 19-13, but Gustavus finished the set on a 6-3 spree to claim a 25-16 decision.

The pivotal third set was a back-and-forth affair from the start with 12 ties and six lead changes, resulting in a 14-14 score. The Gusties then took full control with seven of the next eight points en route to a 25-18 victory.

Northwestern would not go without a fight and took an 8-3 advantage to start the fourth set. The Gusties slowly climbed back into the set and midway through the frame they went on a 9-2 run for a 16-14 lead, forcing two Northwestern timeouts in that time. The Eagles responded well out of the break to regain a two-point lead, but trailing 22-20 the Gusties finished the set and the match with five-straight points for the thrilling victory.

Kate Holtan (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) led the offense with 20 kills and a .333 attack percentage. Hanna Albers (Jr., St. Louis, Mo.) posted a double-double with 16 kills and 13 digs. Nora Holtan (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) distributed 46 assists and dug out 10 attacks. Brittany Luethmers (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.) and Abby Leitch (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) led the back line with 18 digs each.

Nora Holtan was named the Central Region Most Outstanding Player, while Kate Holtan and Albers joined on the All-Tournament Team.

Gustavus (26-6) advances to the national quarterfinals, hosted by Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Gusties’ opponent is to be determined and they will play Thursday.



  1. Kyhl E Thomson says:

    Can’t believe we couldn’t be there to watch history being made for the Golden Gusties! So proud of how hard you all work and the tone you have set for 2017-18 Gustie Athletics. We are behind you all the way. Congrats Coach Ro and your team and staff! So proud of all of you. All of you Senior young ladies have set the tone for such a great future for @gustievb Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow !!! #gustiesdidshine #flyingasaflock #threemore #nattys

  2. Michael Albers says:

    Awesome job ladies and Coach Ro, wish we would have been there. We support you all the way. Congrats to you all and keep the momentum going.