Volleyball Shuts Out St. Olaf

Posted on October 4th, 2018 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The No. 10 Gustavus volleyball team Thursday night claimed its fifth consecutive straight-set victory, defeating St. Olaf 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 to improve to 15-2 overall and remain undefeated in the MIAC at 6-0. The Gusties played from behind in all three sets, but were able to string together rallies for the shutout victory.

St. Olaf started the match on a hot streak, jumping out to a 9-1 advantage, and had its largest lead at 15-6 before the Gusties started to climb back. With Ellie Anderson (So., St. Paul, Minn.) on the serve, the home team rattled off five straight points to force an Ole timeout. The Gusties kept closing the gap and eventually tied the game at 22-22. The Oles claimed the next point, but two kills by Kate Holtan (So., Rochester, Minn.) followed by an ace by Nora Holtan (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) sealed the comeback victory.

“I told the team they had to be ready for that moment and that there was going to be imperfect volleyball. But it’s about the ability to push through when it is ugly, not worry about the outcome at that point, and just play,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said of the slow start. “I don’t think St. Olaf let up, we just started to play. St. Olaf pressed all three sets, but I think that we started playing more of our tempo and played better defense.”

The Oles gained another early advantage to start the second set at 5-3 before the Gusties went on a 7-1 rally to claim a lead it would not relinquish. St. Olaf took a 2-0 lead to begin the third, but the home team went on a 7-3 run and never trailed the rest of the way.

Kate Holtan finished with 14 kills and five digs. Nora Holtan posted 30 assists, nine digs, and six kills with a .545 attack percentage. Brittany Luethmers (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) dug out 13 attacks. As a team, the Gusties hit .237 and had seven blocks.

Gustavus has a quick turnaround and will travel to compete in the UW-Whitewater tournament tomorrow and Saturday. The Gusties start with UW-Stevens Point at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

“It was good to face St. Olaf who has really strong attackers because I think we’re going to see a lot of that this weekend,” Sherden said. “I thought we started really picking up the defense at the end. It was fun to see how scrappy we were and our blocking was great. Even if we didn’t get the kill-block, we got a slow-down. Against those type of attackers that’s what you need.”


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