Gusties outlast Saint Ben's in five to win MIAC Volleyball Playoff Championship

Gustavus is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
Gustavus is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

ST. PETER, Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus College is headed back to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament after defeating the College of Saint Benedict in a five-set classic to become Playoff champions of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) for the third time in the last four seasons.

| Box Score |

Gustavus won the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-19 before the Bennies roared back with a 26-24 win in the third and a 25-21 victory in the fourth, setting up a winner-take-all fifth set that the Gusties claimed 15-13 in front of more than 1,500 fans at Gus Young Court on Saturday night. The Gusties have won 19 straight heading into the national tournament.

-Gustavus outside hitter Kate Holtan had a career-night, tying a personal best with 22 kills and setting a new career-high with 33 digs for a double-double.
-Three-time MIAC Player of the Year Nora Holtan tied her season-high with 53 assists and added another 22 digs for a double-double of her own.
-Sophomore Hunter Weiss led Saint Ben's with 18 kills and 10 block-assists in the match.

-Gustavus is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season and as the MIAC Playoff champ for the third time.
-This is the second time the Gusties have won both the regular season and playoff titles. The Gusties also swept the championships in 2015.
-Either Gustavus or Saint Benedict has won the last four MIAC Playoff championships and one of those two teams has been in the championship match in six of the last seven seasons.

-Gustavus received the MIAC Playoff championship plaque and the Conference's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament. Saint Benedict and the rest of the MIAC will eagerly await Selection Monday to see if the League sends any additional teams to the Tournament via at-large bids. The NCAA will announce the national tournament field during its annual selection show on Monday, Nov. 5 at 11:30 a.m. CST.

After the match, the MIAC honored six individuals with All-Tournament Team recognition. The following players received All-Tournament honors for their performances in the 2018 MIAC Playoffs.

S | Nora Holtan | Sr. | Gustavus -- 100 assists, 39 digs, 11 kills (2 matches, 10 sets)
DS | Brittany Luethmers | Sr. | Gustavus -- 46 digs, 15 assists, 6 services aces (2 matches, 10 sets)
S | Katharine Mallak | Sr. | St. Thomas -- 95 assists, 20 digs, 1 service ace (2 matches, 8 sets)
S | Morgan Malley | Sr. | Augsburg -- 97 assists, 46 digs, 8 kills (2 matches, 10 sets)
MB | Lauren Mathews | Sr. | Saint Benedict -- 22 kills, 13 total blocks, 6 digs (2 matches, 10 sets)
OH | Liz Schultz | Sr. | Saint Benedict -- 49 digs, 14 kills, 7 total blocks (2 matches, 10 sets)


Quarterfinals | Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. |
No. 3 St. Thomas 3, No. 6 St. Olaf 0 | Box Score |
No. 5 Augsburg 3, No. 4 Bethel 2 | Box Score |

Semifinals | Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. |
No. 1 Gustavus  3, No. 5 Augsburg 2 | Box Score |
No. 2 Saint Benedict 3, No. 3 St. Thomas 2  | Box Score |

Championship | Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. |
No. 1 Gustavus 3, No. 2 Saint Benedict 2 | Box Score |

2018 MIAC Volleyball Playoffs |