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Honors For St. John’s, St. Ben’s Athletes

St. John’s linebacker Maze Thompson of Shoreview is this week’s MIAC Defensive Player of the Week.  The Saint John’s football team came from behind Saturday to beat Gustavus, 31-17, as the Johnnie defense allowed only a single field goal after halftime.
Thompson finished 12 total tackles – nine solo – which led the Johnnies in Saturday’s win over the Gusties. He had one sack, three tackles-for-a-loss and a forced fumble to his credit as well, and the average Gustavus gain on Thompson’s 12 tackles was just 2.6 yards per play. He also blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, which would have cut SJU’s lead to 24-20. This season, Thompson has 51 total tackles (21 solo), two sacks and 6.5 tackles-for-a-loss, which ranks No. 8 in the MIAC.

Saint John’s used Saturday’s win to get back to .500 overall at 4-4, and now the Johnnies have won two-straight in league play and improved to 2-4. They’ll look to continue their late-season momentum Saturday when they travel to Saint Paul to face Hamline. Kickoff for the Johnnies and Pipers is scheduled for 1 p.m.

St. Ben’s Victoria Nass of Faribault is the MIAC Setter of the Week this week.  The Saint Benedict volleyball team put the finishing touches on a terrific 2012 regular season last week, winning a pair of MIAC matches and extending its impressive winning streak to 14-straight victories. Leading the way in a pair of 3-1 wins over postseason qualifiers Bethel and Concordia was defensive specialist Victoria Nass (Faribault, Minn./Bethlehem Academy). The Blazers’ sophomore had 64 digs – an average of 8.00 per set – with seven assists and four aces, in the team’s two wins. For her performance, Nass was named the MIAC Volleyball Setter/Libero-of-the-Week.

The two wins helped the Blazers finish off the regular season with their impressive winning streak still intact at 14 matches in a row. CSB is now 26-4 and finished 10-1 in conference play to end up second in the standings, and the No. 2 seed in the MIAC Playoffs. The Blazers earned a first-round bye and home-court advantage for the semifinals, where they will host the winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal match between No. 3 Concordia and No. 6 Bethel. Thursday’s match on CSB’s home floor is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in St. Joseph, Minn.

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