Mayo grad Holtan earns MIAC honor

The Gustavus volleyball team continued its remarkable run, going 4-0 last week to run its winning streak to 18 in a row.

First-year setter Nora Holtan, a graduate of Rochester Mayo, has been a key contributor throughout the streak, and has been named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Setter/Libero-of-the-Week.

She starred last week with 162 assists — 11.57 per set — in addition to 17 kills, 33 digs, four aces and five total blocks.

Holtan started her big week with 46 and 51 assists, respectively, in a pair of 3-1 non-conference wins over Martin Luther and Waldorf, and she added 15 digs in the win over Waldorf and four kills in each victory. She had 32 assists, four kills and four blocks in a 3-0 MIAC victory over Carleton, and she capped the week with 33 assists, nine digs and five kills in a 3-0 sweep of UW-Superior.

This season, Holtan ranks second in the MIAC with 574 assists and third with her average of 8.44 assists per set. She has 169 assists to rank third in conference play, and her average of 9.94 assists per set in MIAC matches is second-best in the league.


• Merrick Ducharme, of Carleton, was named MIAC Football Defensive Player of the Week.

The Carleton football team staged a furious comeback on Saturday and nearly upset No. 23/24-ranked Concordia, falling just short in a 27-24 loss. The Knights' defense played great in the loss, led by sophomore linebacker Merrick Ducharme (a Hayfield graduate) and his career-high 14 tackles.

Ducharme was all over the field to lead Carleton to its upset bid Saturday, as he made five solo tackles and nine assisted stops to tie for the second-most tackles in the MIAC last weekend. His efforts helped limit the Cobbers to their second-lowest passing total and third-lowest rushing total of the season while holding the nationally-ranked foe scoreless in the fourth quarter and to just seven points after halftime.

This season, Ducharme has 36 total tackles (19 solo). His 16 solo tackles and 32 total tackles in conference play rank fourth and seventh in the MIAC, respectively.

The near-upset loss dropped Carleton to 1-4 thus far in 2014, and 0-4 in conference play. Saturday, there's a lot on the line for the Knights when they travel across town to take on rival St. Olaf in the annual battle for "The Goat" rivalry trophy, with both teams entering with identical records. The Oles host Carleton Saturday at 1 p.m., and the game will double as St. Olaf's Tackle Cancer Game as well.

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