Drama-filled playoffs lead to the big dance for Auggie volleyball

Jackson Gerber, Staff Writer

As the regular season ended, the Augsburg volleyball team finished with a record of 21-7, falling short of the regular season title and securing the fifth seed in the MIAC tournament. They were unable to secure the automatic qualifying bid given to the conference’s tournament winner, but due to their efforts during the tournament as well as tough wins against quality opponents during the regular season, the Auggies were awarded one of 19 at-large bids in the NCAA national tournament.

Before eventually facing the regular season MIAC champs in the semi-finals, the number-five seeded Auggies were tasked with playing in the quarterfinal at number-four seed Bethel. The Royals jumped out to a 2-0 set lead but were quickly shut down by the veteran Auggie defense. After the Royals hit .295 and .222 in the first two sets, Augsburg held Bethel to a .125 hitting percentage in the third set and then only .059 and .077 in the fourth and fifth sets. Megan Quam led the Auggie attack recording 16 kills on the night.

Augsburg looked to bring the momentum they gained from their hard-fought quarterfinal against Bethel into the semi-final match against nationally ranked and top-seeded Gustavus. The Gusties took the first set in the match, but the Auggies stormed back to win the second and third sets. Gustavus then used seven of their 18 service aces to take the fourth set and forced Augsburg into their second straight five-set game. Unfortunately, the Auggies were not able to pull off the upset as the Gusties won the final set. Corrina Evans was the leader on offense recording 13 kills as well as putting up seven blocks. Macey Terhell led the Auggie defense with 27 digs.

Augsburg will have their hands full in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as they will face the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas, the defending national champs and number-five team in the nation. The Auggies will take on the Athenas at 12:30 p.m. at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter on Friday, Nov. 9.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 9, 2018 issue. 

After the MIAC tournament, Augsburg volleyball earned a berth in the NCAA national tournament. Photo by Silvia Cha.