Volleyball Travels to Augsburg for MIAC Semifinal Tuesday

Posted on November 5th, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus volleyball team begins its postseason Tuesday in the MIAC quarterfinals against Augsburg as they’ll travel to Minneapolis for a 7 p.m. contest. The No. 5 seed Gusties won both their matches last week to push themselves to a 14-14 overall record and 7-4 mark in the MIAC while the No. 4 seeded Auggies are 22-5 overall and 8-3 in conference. This is the third consecutive year the two teams have met in the MIAC playoffs, with the Gusties winning both prior matchups.

Live Stats/Watch Live | 2019 MIAC Championship Page

Gusties in the Postseason

MIAC Playoff appearances: 29

NCAA Playoff appearances: 8 (1984, 85, 86, 2008, 2015, 16, 17, 18)

All-time record in the postseason: 97-59-6

Furthest into postseason: NCAA quarterfinals (1984, 2017) *1984 was 24-team field and Gusties received a first-round bye, 2017 was 64-team field

Regular Season Result – Gusties vs. Auggies

The Gustavus volleyball team traveled to Augsburg on Sept. 20 and fell to the No. 18 Auggies 3-2.

Set one started out even with the teams being tied 6-6 before Augsburg seized momentum and ran out to leads of 9-6 and 15-10. Gustavus rallied back though, trailing 22-19 they were able to score three straight to even things at 22. The teams would trade points to 24 before two straight Auggie points cemented the victory.

Set two was Augsburg early as they took the lead early and never gave it up. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead and as big as a 15-8 lead before Gustavus scored five straight to pull it within two. The Auggies rattled off four straight and retook a six point lead and eventually closed out the set 25-16.

Set three was all Gusties though, as the visitors never trailed. The two teams traded points early, going back and forth early before three straight points for the Black and Gold gave them a 8-5 lead. The Auggies would pull the lead down to one but five straight points for the Gusties would push their lead to 14-8. Augsburg would score two straight but after that Gustavus would push their lead to five and never lead by less as they took the set 25-17. The Gusties had 15 kills in set three with just five errors and an attack percentage of .323.

In set four the Gusties rode their momentum from the previous set to jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Gusties would continue to build their lead eventually, taking as big as an eight-point lead at 17-9. The Auggies would rally to bring the set within five but Gustavus would close the set out 25-18.

In the final set the Auggies jumped out early and were able to hold an 8-5 lead at the halfway point. Just when it seemed the Gusties started gaining momentum a long rally ensued and it looked like an Augsburg player played consecutive touches, which would have pulled some momentum back the Gusties way, however, play went on and the Auggies won the rally and halted that momentum and went on to win the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.

Kate Holtan (Jr., Rochester) led the attack for the Gusties with 16 kills while Sarah Elliott (Fy., Lombard, Ill.) had 12. Kaylyn Johnston (Fy., Urbana, Ill.) had 28 set assists while Mitaya Johnson (Sr., Kasson) had 17.  Hailey Embacher (Jr., Mankato) anchored the defense with 26 digs while Johnston had 13.

Scouting the Gusties

Gustavus is most recently coming off a 3-1 win over Saint Mary’s on Saturday. Through 28 matches Holtan leads the conference with 388 kills for an average of 3.77 per set. First-years Elliott and Rhyan Herrmann (Fy., Brownton) have been strong on the offensive as well, recording 211 and 201 kills, respectively. Sydney Olson has also been swinging well of late, as the first-year has 42 kills in her past five matches, hitting at a clip of .341 during that span. Johnson and Nora Lehmkuhl (Fy., Northfield) have split the setting duties for the Black and Gold of late, with Johnson averaging 5.04 assists per set and Lehmkuhl 5.50. Embacher has the fourth most digs in the MIAC with 539, while Holtan has added 308. Gustavus has been strong on the serve this year averaging the second most service aces per set with an average of 1.87.

Scouting the Auggies 

Augsburg most recently coming fell 3-1 to St. Thomas in its regular season finale. Through 27 matches, Kayla Gjerde is the team’s leading attacker with 266 kills, while Corrina Evans has 237 with an attack percentage of .319. Izzy Barr and Lexie Lang have split time setting thus far, notching 478 and 450 assists, respectively. Jaelin Rios leads the Augsburg defense with 367 digs in the back row, while four other Auggies have at least 200. Augsburg has been the MIAC’s best team on the block this season, as they have 243 total for an average of 2.38 per set, both marks which rank first in the league. The Auggies, like Gustavus have been strong on the serve, as they rank first in the league with an average of 1.89 service aces per set.


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