BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The 2017 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Volleyball Playoffs got underway Tuesday night with a pair of quarterfinal matchups.
No. 6 seed Augsburg pulled off a four-set upset of nationally-ranked Gustavus, while No. 4 St. Olaf defended its home court admirably against perennial contender Bethel. Gustavus and Bethel met in last year's MIAC Championship Game, which means there will be a new champion crowned in 2017.
| 2017 MIAC Volleyball Playoffs |
Augsburg and St. Olaf now join St. Thomas and Saint Benedict in the semifinals. The top-seeded Tommies will host No. 4 St. Olaf, while No. 2 seed Saint Ben's will welcome No. 6 Augsburg to St. Joseph. Both matches are tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Thursday night.
NO. 6 AUGSBURG 3, NO. 3 GUSTAVUS 1 | Box Score |
One year removed from an upset loss in their first game of the MIAC Playoffs, the Auggies found themselves on the other side of coin on Tuesday, enjoying a bit of redemption with a 3-1 win over Gustavus in the MIAC quarterfinals. The Gusties took the first set 25-17, but it was all Augsburg from that point forward, as the team rallied for three straight sets to take the match and a spot in the semifinals. Morgan Malley registered a game-high 50 assists and pared that with 21 digs for the Auggies. Taylor Linn and Ellie Schwartz also pitched in double-double efforts. Despite double-doubles from the Holtan sisters, Kate and Nora, Gustavus struggled to find its rhythm after the first set. The No. 13-ranked Gusties will now hope for at-large consideration to the NCAA Tournament, while the Auggies move on in search of the MIAC Championship and the Conference's automatic qual. Augsburg will take on No. 2 Saint Benedict on CSB's court Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
NO. 4 ST. OLAF 3, NO. 5 BETHEL 1 | Box Score |
For the first time since 2010, St. Olaf is headed to the MIAC semifinals after topping Bethel 3-1 in Northfield, Minn. Tuesday night. The Oles came out swinging, claiming the first set 25-19, but Bethel rallied back with a 25-20 score in the second. The third set was pivotal, as St. Olaf played some of its best ball of the season to outscore the Royals by 10, setting the table for a 25-23 win in the fourth frame. Lexi Wall was key to the Ole attack, posting 49 assists and a .400 hitting percentage to along with 17 digs on the night. Summer Reid tallied a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs, while Bethel's Tina Hoppe posted a double-double of her own with 12 kills and 14 digs in a losing effort. The Oles move on to challenge regular season MIAC champion St. Thomas at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS SET FOR WEDNESDAY
The Oles and Auggies used their quarterfinal wins to advance to Thursday's semifinals, where No. 1 St. Thomas and No. 2 Saint Benedict are set to host. The volleyball playoffs do not reseed, which means No. 2 CSB will host No. 6 Augsburg and the No. 1 Tommies will host No. 4 St. Olaf. Both matches are tentatively set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
The two semifinal winners will meet on Saturday, Nov. 4, in the 2017 MIAC Volleyball Playoff Championship game. The game is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. The MIAC Playoff champion will receive the postseason championship plaque and the Conference's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament.
The MIAC has a homepage dedicated to the 2017 MIAC Volleyball Playoffs, containing schedules, links and information on each of the six teams in the field. Throughout the tournament, the page will be updated with scores, stats, updated schedules and more. Fans can also follow the action on the MIAC Scoreboard, the free MIAC mobile app or the MIAC's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.
2017 MIAC VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS
Quarterfinals | Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. |
No. 6 Augsburg 3, No. 3 Gustavus 1 | Box Score |
No. 4 St. Olaf 3, No. 5 Bethel 1 | Box Score |
Semifinals | Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. |
No. 4 St. Olaf at No. 1 St. Thomas | Live Stats | Video |
No. 6 Augsburg at No. 2 Saint Benedict | Live Stats | Video |
Championship | Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. |
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed | Live Stats | Video |
GAME TIMES ARE TENTATIVE