The Gustavian Weekly

Volleyball ranked No. 7 in the nation | The Gustavian Weekly

By Joe Brandel - Sports & Fitness Editor | August 31, 2018 | Sports & Fitness

Members of last season’s volleyball team celebrates a point during a match. With many returning players, the team looks to improve on its phenomenal 26-7 record from its previous season.

Members of last season’s volleyball team celebrates a point during a match. With many returning players, the team looks to improve on its phenomenal 26-7 record from its previous season.

As a new season approaches, the women’s volleyball team has been motivated and focused to improve on their impressive record from the year before. 

Last season the Gusties boasted a record of 26-7, finishing the season ranked as No. 7 in the nation. 

The team also advanced as far as the NCAA National Quarterfinals, ultimately losing to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by a score of 3-1. 

“This season our focus is on staying unified and trusting each other while having fun and playing for each other.”

Ellie Anderson

This historic season was led by multiple All-American and All-Region players all returning this season.

Senior Nora Holton greatly contributed to the team’s efforts last season and was awarded as the 2017 First Team All-American Setter. 

Holtan was also nominated as the MIAC Player of the Year for for the second consecutive year. 

Following in the footsteps of her older sister, Sophomore Kate Holtan will also prove to be an integral part to the team’s dynamic. 

Kate had an impressive freshman season, earning awards such the MIAC Rookie of the Year and an All-American honorable mention. 

The team will also be returning Senior Brittany Luethmers, a honorable mention for the All-Region Defensive Specialist. 

 Along with these impressive individuals, the team is excited to be returning a strong core of six seniors who are experienced with the system and will be important to the team’s success.

Volleyball kicked off their 2018 season on August 22, scrimmaging a non-conference opponent, Minnesota State-Mankato, and then quickly took off to a tournament across the country. 

The Gusties are currently in San Antonio, Texas for the Trinity National Invitational. In the next two days the team will face off against opponents from across the country including UW-Stevens Point, Trinity College, Aurora College, and Cabrini College. 

Sophomore Ellie Anderson said she is excited for the goals the team has set for themselves and is looking forward to the upcoming games.

“I think our team has had really strong chemistry so far this season and we’ve all come

in really focused to practice,” Anderson said. “We have some pretty big goals this season and right now we’re just taking it one practice at a time and are super excited for our first matches on Friday.”

Sophomore Kate Holtan spikes the ball during the NCAA Regional semifinal match last season against Wartburg.

Sophomore Kate Holtan spikes the ball during the NCAA Regional semifinal match last season against Wartburg.

The team is going into the season ready to take on anyone with a positive attitude, despite the competitive schedule that lies ahead. The Gusties will have a challenging season for the MIAC title, having to face difficult conference opponents such as Saint Benedict College and the University of St. Thomas. 

“This season our focus is on staying unified and trusting each other while having fun and playing for each other,” Anderson said.

This positive mentality the team holds will help them as they take on their first challenge this weekend.

The first tournament game is at 3 p.m. on Friday when the Gusties will be facing UW-Stevens Point, a team they defeated last season with a score of 3-1.

Volleyball will return to campus and practice all week to prepare for their next big tournament, the Loras Invitational, on Sept 7 and 8.

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