Volleyball Claims MIAC Title With Four Set Win at Augsburg Posted on October 24th, 2018 by


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – For the sixth time in program history, Gustavus volleyball has claimed the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

The No. 9-ranked Gusties on Wednesday night defeated Augsburg in four sets 24-26, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16 to improve their conference record to 10-0 and capture at least a share of their first MIAC regular season title since 2015. Gustavus also extends its winning streak to 16 with a 24-2 overall record.

Gustavus recorded 109 digs in the match, marking the most single match digs since Oct. 17, 2011 when it tallied 120 in five sets against UW-La Crosse. Tonight’s dig total is the most in four sets since the Gusties posted 114 against Austin College in 2008.

“It was an incredibly competitive match from both sides,” Head Coach Rachelle Sherden said. “This is the most defensive match that we’ve played in this year. The rallies were incredible from both sides. Our attackers did a really good job of being available and continuing to mix up our options. Our serving really started to pick up in the second set all the way through the end. The environment was great and it was just a fun match to watch.”

Kate Holtan (So., Rochester, Minn.) continued her hot streak on the attack with a match-high 21 kills and .292 hitting percentage after 48 swings. Add her 22 digs and Holtan now has 13 double-doubles this season and one in each of the past five matches.

One day removed from being named AVCA Player of the Week, Nora Holtan (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) tied a season-high with 53 assists. She also added 14 digs and a pair of service aces for her 11th double-double of the season. Lauren Hanson (Sr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) joined the double-double party with 11 kills and a career-high 14 digs. On the back row, Hailey Embacher (So., Mankato, Minn.) recorded a career-high 28 digs to lead the defense.

The first set featured 14 ties and neither team led by more than three points throughout the entire set. The Gusties held set point at 24-23, but the Auggies got a kill to tie the score and consecutive attack errors on Gustavus gave the home team the first set victory.

Gustavus responded by jumping out to an 8-4 lead in the second set before the Auggies rattled off four-straight points midway through to take a 16-14 lead and force a Gustie timeout. The Black and Gold tied the score at 19-19 and followed with a 7-1 run to close out the set.

Augsburg held a 9-5 advantage to start the third frame before Gustavus ensued with another 7-1 run to claim the lead. Augsburg took it right back at 18-15 but the visitors finished the set on a 10-2 spree.

The two squads traded blows to start the fourth set but the Gusties were able to create separation midway through to secure the victory.

Gustavus wraps up the regular season Friday night at Saint Mary’s. A Gustavus win would secure an undisputed regular season title at 11-0 and the No. 1 seed heading into conference playoffs, which begin next Thursday at home for Gustavus.


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