The Gustavian Weekly

Volleyball’s back on the upswing

By Jake Woodrich - Staff Writer | October 13, 2017 | Sports & Fitness

First-year Kate Holtan attacks against St. Kate’s as her teammates look on. The No. 11 Gusties defeated St. Kate’s and currently hold a record of 20-3 overall, and a conference record of 6-1.

First-year Kate Holtan attacks against St. Kate’s as her teammates look on. The No. 11 Gusties defeated St. Kate’s and currently hold a record of 20-3 overall, and a conference record of 6-1.

Two weeks ago, the Gustavus volleyball team had fallen victim to two close losses to highly regarded opponents.

Since then, the #11 ranked in the nation Gusties have turned things around, not losing a single match.

Currently holding a 20-3 overall record, with a 6-1 record against MIAC opponents, the Gusties have positioned themselves very well for a strong postseason run.

“After the losses against Bethel and Northwestern, our team eagerly came into the gym wanting to get better. Since then, we have played very cohesively and enjoyed every moment together,” Junior Brittany Luethmers said.

The momentum that the team currently has is unparalleled.

“We are a team that almost hates losing more than we like winning, so losing two close matches in a row definitely lit a competitive fire under us. We recognized that we needed to make changes to ensure that did not happen to us again, so we got back in the gym, worked hard to better every aspect of our game, and grew together in those practices,” Senior Shaefer Rupar said.

During the past two weeks, the team has faced and defeated a lot of stiff competition.

Most recently, the Gusties traveled to Iowa for the Wartburg College Tournament, compiling a record of 3-0 over the weekend.

“It always feels good to win, but this weekend, we won against good competition while maintaining our game play and adjusting as a team to different variables. The culture and trust we have with each other on and off the court was really evident this weekend,” Junior Hanna Albers said.

The Gusties hope to continue the impressive run they are on as the latter portion of the season continues.

“The season has been a fun experience and has gone by incredibly fast so far. On Wednesday, we play St. Thomas, who has always been a big competitor of ours. We are very excited to get back on our home court and play another competitive team. It should be a very fun match,” Luethmers said.

At time of print, the Gusties had just dealt the Tommies a crushing 3-0 defeat, but no easy road lies ahead when you compete in the MIAC.

“We came in disciplined and aggressive tonight and played solid defense and on serve receive. Nora made very smart decisions to help our attackers get good opportunities.” — Coach Sherden

“We have a lot of big conference match-ups coming up, but any match in the MIAC is an important one because all of the teams are so competitive. We have to be ready every match to come out our strongest and make sure we are playing our game,” Rupar said.

As these conference matches continue to occur, the postseason draws closer and closer.

The Gusties have reached the national tournament in each of the past two seasons and hope to make it a three-peat.

Only this year, something bigger is on the team’s mind; a national championship.

“Our end goal is winning a National Championship. In order to attain this goal, we need to continue playing for each other and enjoying every competition brought upon us,” Luethmers said.

The Golden Gusties volleyball team is riding high with a current win streak of six.

The team hopes to continue to ride this momentum continue their strong season well into the postseason and bring back some hardware to Gustavus while they’re at it.

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