The 2013 Gustavus volleyball team consists of 20 players—none of which are seniors. The roster lists six juniors, eight sophomores, and six first-year players. The team is young, but returns with some of their best players this year after ending 2012 with an overall record of 10-18 and MIAC mark of 4-7 (t-9th). The women ranked eleventh in the league in total kills, twelfth in team attack percentage, and had 1543 digs, averaging 14.56 digs per set.
“We have a large number of talented first-years that have been pushing our upperclassmen to improve this year, and we have so many talented players. I can’t wait to see all the things we are going to achieve,” Sophomore Becca Woodstra said.
The season began with a weekend in Winona, Minnesota, from Aug. 30-31, 2013. The women took part in the Saint Mary’s Tournament where they faced Luther, UW-Stout, Dominican, and Lakeland.
On the opening day of the tournament, the women lost to Luther College and UW-Stout. The final score of the match against Luther was 3-0, and the loss to UW-Stout was 3-2.
On the second day of the tournament, the women suffered another two losses to Dominican University and Lakeland University. The Gusties fell 3-0 to both Dominican and Lakeland, finishing off the tournament with a record of 0-4.
“Our potential is very high, meaning our expectations are even higher, so at our first tournament we were very unhappy and frustrated with how we played and how it went,” Woodstra said.
The Gusties then traveled to Minneapolis to compete in the 32nd Annual Augsburg invitational held from Sept. 6-7, 2013. The girls picked up their first win of the season on the opening day with a score of 3-2 against Northwestern. The second match of the day was against Wartburg College, where the Gustavus Volleyball Team lost with a score of 3-0.
On the second day of the invitational, the women first fell to UW-Stevens Point, before coming back to end the day on a high note, defeating UW-Eau Claire 3-1.
The players are hoping to redeem themselves with some wins in the upcoming Gustavus Tournament. Gustavus will be hosting UW-River Falls and Central College on Friday, Sept. 13. On the final day of the Gustavus Tournament, the women will be hosting Bethany Lutheran College as well as Simpson College.
“Our record does not give any justice as to how well our team has been doing this season. Being a young team with no seniors, we have meshed so well together,” Junior Taylor Meurer said
According to the women, the other teams in their conference provide tough competition. The team is hoping to make a major comeback and catch all of their competitors by surprise.
“Our goal is to finish top 3 in the conference and hopefully make the NCAA tournament,” Meurer said.
To accomplish their goals this year, the women are planning to stay focused and positive by supporting one another.
“We remind ourselves before each match what our goals are and review our outcome at the end of each match,” Junior Paige Breneman said.
The women are looking forward to their matches against the University of St. Thomas and the College of St. Benedict because they are some of the best teams in the MIAC.
“I think we will be very successful and put up a good fight for those returning successful teams in our conference. Our team wants to beat everyone, and I believe we are capable of it,” Sophomore Kelsey Harms said.