Holtan Named MIAC Player of the Year, Embacher Earns Defensive Player of the Year

Posted on November 3rd, 2021 by

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) came out with its annual volleyball awards Wednesday, and seniors Kate Holtan (Sr., Rochester) and Hailey Embacher (Sr., Mankato) were awarded the highest honors in the conference. Holtan was named the 2021 Volleyball Player of the Year while Embacher was named Defensive Player of the Year. The all-conference nod is Holtan’s fourth and Embacher’s second. Joining them in the all-conference lineup is junior Sarah Elliott (Jr., Lombard Ill.).

Holtan began the season with her 1,000th career dig over Luther on September 24th and went on to record thirteen double-doubles throughout the season. Holtan ended the regular season leading the conference with 409 kills and 4.01 kills per set. She finishes with 15-straight matches of record ten or more kills, and has eclipsed 20 kills in five matches this season. Additionally, Holtan adds 283 digs and 42 service aces to her resume to rank fourth in the conference. Prior to post-season competition, Holtan’s 1,614 kills put her third in the career record book, first in kills per set with 3.64, and sixth in digs with 1,233.

Embacher closed the season as the top defender in the conference with 475 digs to rank third, averaging 4.66 per set. Embacher was also strong on the serve, notching 32 service aces which were the eighth most in the conference, while also adding 98 set assists. The senior racked up double-digit digs in all but two matches for the Gusties and boasted a season high 28 against Coe College. Her 1,351 career digs prove solid for fourth in program history and she enters the post-season with 99 career service aces.

Elliott rose to the occasion for the Gusties with 222 kills in 96 sets, recording double digit kills in nine matches for the Gusties this season to earn an all-conference nod. Additionally, Elliott dished out 49 digs and a team high 50 blocks, averaging .52 per set and finishes second in solo blocks in conference play. In 13 matches Elliott hit over .300.

As part of a continued conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 15th-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 with Annalee Olson-Sola (Sr., Northfield) being selected for the Gusties.

MIAC Release


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