Volleyball Uses All-Around Effort to Defeat Oles Posted on September 26th, 2019 by

Kate Holtan goes for an attack against St. Olaf. (photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports)


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team hosted St. Olaf Thursday in MIAC action and defeated the Oles 3-0. With the win the Gusties move to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC while the Oles fall to 14-3 overall and 0-2 in conference.

“Going into the game we told them to be ready for long rallies and to work hard in transition as they’re a very talented team,” said Head Coach Rachelle Sherden. “I thought we did a pretty good job of capitalizing with our serves and getting them out of system. We also did a good job setting tonight, and our right-sides had a really good match.”

In set one, the Gusties were able to use solid blocking up front to put the pressure on early. The Gusties dominated in set one notching four blocks in their first 14 points as they got out to a 14-10 lead. They continued the strong effort the rest of the set, taking 11 of the last 16 points en rout to a 25-15 set one win.

The Oles rebounded in set two, jumping out to a 6-4 lead early and eventually holding an 11-10 lead. The two teams then went into battle and went point-for-point nearly the entire set. The Oles held a 20-18 lead before a four-point run put the Gusties up two. The Oles responded though when they evened it up at 22. The Gusties scored to go up one on a kill from Sarah Elliott (Fy., Lombard, Ill.) before two Gustie errors put the Black and Gold down 24-23. The two teams would continue to trade points until, tied at 27-27, consecutive kills by Rhyan Herrmann (Fy., Brownton) and Kaylyn Johnston (Fy., Urbana, Ill.) ended the set.

The third set was similar to the second as the two teams traded leads for a majority of the set. The Oles jumped out to a 11-9 lead early but a four point run late in the set would put the Gusties up 20-18. Gustavus was able to get to match point, up 24-21, before two St. Olaf points would make it a one-point game but a Kaikea Welsh (So., Kansas City, Mo.) kill would end the match and give the Gusties the 3-0 win.

The Gusties out-blocked the Oles 10-1 in the contest and also hit .272 while St. Olaf was at .253. Gustavus also allowed the strong service of St. Olaf to just one service ace, while the home team managed five.

On the team’s defensive effort Sherden said, “Our passing was lights out tonight, as we did really well controlling the first ball contact and that was one of our better blocking matches we’ve had this year.”

Herrmann and Annalee Olson-Sola (So., Northfield, Minn.) led the attack with eight kills each, while Kate Holtan (Jr., Rochester) added seven and Elliott totaled six. Johnston and Mitaya Johnson (Sr., Kasson) dished out 30 assists combined with Johnston dishing out 16 and Johnson notching 14. Hailey Embacher (Jr., Mankato) had 15 digs in the back row, while the trio of Welsh, Olson-Sola, and Sydney Olson (Fy., Willmar, Minn.) all had five total blocks.

The Gusties are next in action Saturday when they host Northwestern-St. Paul for an 11 a.m. contest.


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