Despite their loss to Gustavus in the conference final, St. Olaf Women’s Volleyball team secured a bid into the national tournament. On Nov. 6, the St. Olaf women’s volleyball team hosted Concordia for the quarter-finals of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) tournament. Prior to the match, St. Olaf was ranked as the third seed in the tournament, and Concordia was ranked as the sixth seed. With 250 spectators, the St. Olaf Women’s Volleyball team played to impress.
Cathryn Moore ’24, who recently celebrated her achievement of 1,000 in-game kills, finished the game with 17 kills against the Cobbers. Closely following Moore ’24 are players Anysia Caille ’24 with 13 kills and Christina Cheng ’24 with twelve kills. Defensive specialist/libero Selena Rodriguez ’24 got 21 digs for the Oles.
St. Olaf won the first set against Concordia by five points, establishing their vicious offensive skills. After a close fight, the second game was stolen by the Cobbers with only a two-point lead bringing the game point to 28. The Oles buckled down after losing the second set and took the third set with an eight-point lead. Only needing one more set to win the game, the women’s volleyball team set their sights on victory. In an incredible streak, Rodriguez served five consecutive aces, creating an eight-point gap between the Oles and the Cobbers. No doubt, our Ole victory is due in part to the Cobber’s lack of digs and Rodriguez’s careful attention in serving to their weak spots. The Oles won the fourth and final match with a nine-point lead.
This victory led the Oles to compete against St. Ben’s in the semi-finals the following Thursday where the women’s volleyball team won in just four sets. With this win, the Oles moved on to compete against Gustavus in the MIAC playoff championship, with the chance to get into the NCAA tournament. After a close fight, the Oles lost in the fifth set 15-17. Although the Oles lost this one, they received an at large bid into the NCAA tournament. The Oles will play Washington University on Nov. 16 at 11:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon, Iowa for a chance to win the NCAA champion title.
There is no doubt that the Oles are a formidable force on the court. Staple players such as Moore and Rodriguez will be leaving in the spring, bringing new faces to the court next fall. As the women’s volleyball team prepares to send off their graduating players, the rest of the team will no doubt adapt and put in the work necessary to have another chance at winning the MIAC playoff championship next year.