Volleyball Wins First Home Match of Season Against Morris

Posted on September 17th, 2019 by

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team hosted Minnesota-Morris for its home opener on Tuesday night and took the match in straight sets, 25-14, 25-17, 25-19. With the win the Gusties improve to 7-6 while Morris falls to 4-8.

“Starting out the season with three tournaments where you play four matches back-to-back is long,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “Everybody is doing it, but it gets long to always be on the road. It felt really good to be home tonight and I think the team was ready to play together at home and in front of a great crowd. They were confident about the game plan so when we made errors or they went on a couple of runs we didn’t get super worked up, which is something we’ve been working on.”

After falling behind 2-0 to start set one the Gusties got it rolling taking control of set one early and starting to put it out of reach thanks to six straight points in the middle of the set to take a 17-10 lead. Morris would score once but Gustavus would take five of the next six to extend their lead to 22-12. The teams would trade point late with Gustavus’ fourth service ace of the set giving the Gusties set one.

In the second set Gustavus would jump out to a 7-3 lead but Morris would storm back with a strong attack to gain and 11-10 edge. Once again, Gustavus took control in the middle part of the set going on a 7-3 run to go up 17-14. A few points later, with the score at 18-16, the Black and Gold would close out the set scoring seven of the last eight points to take a two-set lead.

Set three proved to be the most competitive set of the bunch but a late Gustavus push would prove to be the difference. The home team jumped out early to a 12-9 lead but Morris would rattle off five of six points in the middle portion of the set to nab a 14-13 lead. The teams would then go back and forth for six straight points to get to a 17-16 Cougar lead before Gustavus took control with seven straight points. Morris scored two more to bring the score to 23-19 but a Gustie kill followed by their seventh service ace of the contest ended the match.

Gustavus played their best all-around match of the season Tuesday, hitting .398 as a team. The attack percentage is the highest since Oct. 17, 2015 when the Gusties hit .413 against Simpson.

Kate Holtan (Jr., Rochester) led the charge with 12 kills, hitting .450. Rhyan Herrmann (Fy., Brownton) and Sarah Elliott (Fy., Lombard, Ill.) supplemented the attack, both hitting above .300 with nine and seven kills, respectively. Kaylyn Johnston (Fy., Urbana, Ill.) and Mitaya Johnson (Sr., Kasson) split the setting duties with Johnston notching 21 set assists and Johnson amassing 15. Hailey Embacher (Jr., Mankato)  led the defense with 16 digs, while Kaikea Welsh (So., Kansas City, Mo.) had five blocks.

Although the team had just seven service aces, Sherden talked highly of the teams serving in the contest, “I thought that we served really aggressive and made it tough on them because they’re a good offensive team and it got them out of system and that really helped us control what we could control. Overall, I’m really happy with how we played tonight.”

The Gusties will next be in action on Friday when they travel to Augsburg for 7 p.m. contest.

 

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