2022 Volleyball Season Preview Posted on September 1st, 2022 by

A photo of the 2022 volleyball team in game jerseys

SAINT PETER, Minn. — On the heels of a MIAC Championship, the Gustavus volleyball team returns to the court for its first 2022 regular season appearance this weekend in Ithaca, N.Y. for the Ithaca Bomber Invitational.

2021 was a banner year for the Golden Gusties, finishing 27-6 overall and 10-1 in the conference. These records led the team to a MIAC regular season championship, a MIAC playoff championship, and a subsequent bid to the NCAA tournament. The Gusties ended their season in the NCAA Regional Semifinal, falling to eventual Division III national champion UW-Eau Claire in four sets.

Coach Rachelle Sherden, in her 13th season, is looking past the team’s 2021 success, and aiming for bigger unfinished business.

“Each year we hit the reset button because it’s a completely new team,” said Sherden when asked about her expectations for the season. “We have our general cultural standards and how we want to operate as a program, but this year we have some high goals as far as outcomes and winning.”

The Gusties graduated four seniors in the 2021 season, among them the 1-2 punch of Kate Holtan (Rochester) and Hailey Embacher (Mankato). Holtan, the 2021 MIAC Player of the Year, was named third team All-American following her record-breaking season. Holtan recorded MIAC-leading statistics in kills (480) and kills per set (4.10). Embacher was named 2021 MIAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-America Honorable Mention honors following a 2021 campaign where her 547 digs placed her fourth in the conference and first on the roster.

“You lose a few key players every year. But our goal is to bring in players that can be really competitive and elevate the level of the game. Everyone in the gym has the opportunity to fill those spots, and our returners had the opportunity to learn from those graduated players. Everyone is competing really hard to step into those important roles.”

Sherden’s team features nine new faces and 17 returners from the championship team.

The 2022 Gusties look to Courtney Peterson (Sr., Jamestown, N.D.), Sarah Elliott (Sr., Lombard, Ill.), and Kasie Tweet (Jr., Adrian) to lead the team to success on the court. Peterson provides experience down the middle, looking to build off the 51 blocks and 203 kills earned in her junior season. Elliot, a senior right-side hitter, contributed 267 kills to the 2021 season, a number beat only by teammate Kate Holtan. Tweet led the team in assists with 1100, a statistic that placed her second overall in the MIAC.

“We’re going to be a really scrappy team and we’re going to be pretty good behind the serving line as well. We have a dynamic offense and a lot of versatility to offer with the players we have. Overall, we have a lot of strong players and a lot of depth.”

The Gusties square up against SUNY-Geneseo at 2:30 p.m., Sept. 2 at the Ithaca Bomber Invitational. The team continues its non-conference competition the following day against Swarthmore College at 2:30 p.m. and Ithaca College at 5 p.m.

2022 Roster | 2022 Schedule


One Comment

  1. Gretchen Koehler says:

    go Gusties