Volleyball Earns Multiple Honors in MIAC Postseason Awards Posted on October 31st, 2018 by

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team received a number of honors Wednesday as the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its volleyball awards. Rachelle Sherden was named MIAC Coach of the Year for the second time in four years, Nora Holtan (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) earned Player of the Year for the third straight season, and Brittany Luethmers (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.) garnered her second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honor. Joining Holtan and Luethmers on the All-Conference Team are Lauren Hanson (Sr., Redwood Falls, Minn.) and Kate Holtan (So., Rochester, Minn.).

Sherden, who was also named Coach of the Year in 2015, guided the Gusties to the MIAC championship with an unblemished 11-0 record. The Gusties, ranked No. 1 in the Central Region, are set to host Augsburg in the MIAC semifinals Thursday in their fifth-straight MIAC postseason appearance. Sherden’s MIAC Coach of the Year honor is the third in program history as former coach Kari Eckheart shared the honor in 2006.

Nora Holtan becomes just the second player in MIAC history to earn Player of the Year three times, joining St. Thomas’ Kelly Foley (2012-14). Holtan has directed the Gustie offense with 10.20 assists per set this season and is an attacking threat as well with a .292 hitting percentage and 1.52 kills per set. She also averages 2.32 digs per set and has 29 aces on the year. The Rochester Mayo product recently broke a 22-year old program record to become Gustavus’s all-time leader in career assists and was honored as the AVCA Division III Player of the Week. She is the only player in program history with at least 4,000 assists, 1,000 digs, and 500 kills. This is Holtan’s fourth All-MIAC award, becoming the 15th player in conference history to earn All-Conference all four years.

Luethmers joins Holtan as a four-time All-Conference member and becomes the sixth player in MIAC history to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year. Luethmers has played in all 100 sets during the regular season, averaging 4.91 digs per set. She eclipsed the 2,000 career dig mark earlier this season and is now 98 shy of breaking the program’s career dig record of 2,329.

Hanson earns her third All-Conference nod after proving herself as a dangerous outside hitter. Hanson is second on the team with 278 kills (2.81 per set) and boasts a .268 hitting percentage. She also averages 1.29 digs per set and has accumulated 46 total blocks.

Kate Holtan garners All-Conference honors for the second time after being named Rookie of the Year last season. Holtan is the team’s top attacker with 344 kills and an average of 3.44 per set. She is hitting .232 on the attack and is also a top defender with 3.48 digs per set. Holtan has 46 blocks and leads the team with 32 aces. Her 14 double-doubles are most on the team.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 13th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for volleyball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the court. This year’s selection is Sam Haugen (Sr., Becker, Minn.).


One Comment

  1. Kyhl Thomson says:

    Great story CJ. Great coach, Great kids; Great team. Great program.