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

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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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