Volleyball Wins MIAC Playoff Championship in Five-Set Thriller Posted on November 5th, 2022 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. — The No. 14 nationally-ranked Gusties played only one match to five sets in the regular season, a 3-2 victory over St. Olaf. History was destined to repeat itself Saturday night, as the Gusties emerged victorious in a five-set thriller, defeating St. Olaf to win the MIAC Playoff Championship and punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

The Ole offense got off to a quick start in set one, taking an early 7-3 lead thanks to the efforts of Catherine Moore. The Gusties chased down St. Olaf to even the score at 10-10, but four more unanswered points from the Oles would push the score to 14-10. Offensive Player of the Year Marlee Turn (Jr., Kennedy) helped the Gusties even the score at 17-17, posting a pair of kills and a block. While the Oles took the lead again at 22-19, Turn stepped up to the service line for the Gusties and delivered four unanswered points. A service ace from Maren Sundberg (Fy., Eagan) and five kills from Turn helped the Gusties to an intense 26-24 set one victory, just a taste of what was to come.

Set two told the tale of a different story, as the Gusties jumped out to the early lead at 4-1. The Oles evened the score at 4-4 but struggled to keep pace with the high-powered Gustie offense. Sydney Olson (Sr., Willmar) and Sarah Elliott (Sr., Lombard, Ill.) posted six and four kills, helping the Gusties build their lead to as many as five, including the final 25-20, to wrap up the set two victory.

The Gusties started off with another 4-1 early lead in set three, but the Oles battled back in a must-win set, taking an eventual lead of 16-10. The Gusties couldn’t erase the deficit, as St. Olaf’s Katelyn Lannom posted five kills for a 25-18 set three victory for the Oles. Both teams went one-for-one through the fourth set, with neither team taking a lead greater than three points. Despite seven kills from Turn, it would be the Oles who would come up with the 26-24 victory in set four, staying alive to force a 15-point set five.

The Gusties closed out the MIAC Playoff Championship in impressive fashion, defeating the Oles by a final score of 15-9. Payton Auseth (So., Chaska) fueled the lead, helping the Gusties to three points from behind the service line, including a crucial ace to build an early advantage. Two service aces from Olson and two kills from Turn sealed the deal for Gustavus, as they emerged victorious in five sets over St. Olaf once again.

Turn ended the night with 18 kills, 21 digs, and three service aces for the Gusties. Sarah Elliott and Sydney Olson also posted double-digit kills at 11 and 10, respectively. Olson would add five blocks and three service aces on the night, while Kasie Tweet (Jr., Adrian) earned a double-double with 44 assists and 14 digs. Auseth added four service aces to a total of 12 for the Gusties, as well as 13 digs, while Brynn Smith (So., Brooklyn Park) and Sundberg both added 12 digs each.

With the victory, the No. 14 Gusties earn the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to take place starting next week.


One Comment

  1. Gretchen Koehler says:

    most awesome group of athletes and coaches well deserved 5 set win