Volleyball Falls in First Round

Greg Miller, Staff Writer

The Auggie Volleyball team ended another terrific season on a sour note, losing a hard-fought 5-set battle to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the first round of the NCAA tournament . 

After losing to St. Thomas in the MIAC semifinal, the Auggies received an at-large bid to the National Tournament and found themselves in a first-round matchup against WIAC Champions UW-Stevens Point. After losing the first set 25-23, Augsburg took the second set 25-21. The Auggies were able to take the third set as well, winning a back and forth set by a score of 26-24. Stevens Point was able to score a win in the fourth set giving the game a 2-2 score, leading to a winner take all final set. The Auggies battled back from multiple deficits before Stevens Point scored a 16-14 set win and took the match, advancing in the tournament and ending Augsburg’s season. 

With their performances this year, junior Corrina Evans and sophomore Kayla Gjerde were awarded DIII-Americans, with Evans being named to the third-team and Gjerde being an honorable mention. Both were also named to the All-Central Region Team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Evans has been a dominant middle blocker ranking 7th in the nation with a 1.21 blocks per-set average. Evans holds the Augsburg record for career total blocks with 346 and block assists with 296. Gjerde has become a dominant six-rotation player and was one of 4 MIAC players to have at least 275 kills and 275 digs.

With three seniors leaving the team this year, the Auggies will have to replace some serious play time but should have no struggle with their current team depth. Look for another deep postseason run from the volleyball team next season.