Alyssa Taylor joined the Gustavus volleyball coaching staff for the 2018 season as Rachelle Sherden’s lead assistant. Taylor helped the Gusties capture the MIAC regular season championship after going undefeated in conference play and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after being crowned the MIAC Playoff Champions for the third time in the last four years (Taylor was a senior when the team captured the first championship in 2015). Taylor, a 2015 Gustavus graduate with a degree in health fitness, returns to her alma mater after spending the past two years at the University of South Carolina.
Taylor started at South Carolina in January 2016 as a volleyball graduate assistant and director of beach volleyball operations. In those roles she assisted the director of operations by running home tournaments and all aspects of team travel. In June of 2017 Taylor was promoted to the director of volleyball operations where she was the supervisor to the graduate assistant and manager for the volleyball program. She balanced a full-time job with graduate school and was also a camp director during the summer.
Taylor was a three-year starter for the Gustavus volleyball team from 2013-15 where she had a decorated career. The Trimont, Minn. native earned Third Team All-America and MIAC Player of the Year her senior season. As a team captain in 2015, Taylor played an important role in the Gusties claiming a program record 27 consecutive wins, their first MIAC title since 1986 and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Taylor led the team with 312 kills (3.09 per set), a .341 attack percentage and a 1.14 blocks per set average (115 total). Her .341 attack rate in 2015 was the third best in program history. The Martin County West product finished her three-year career wearing the Black and Gold with 946 kills, which ranks 15th in program history. She also recorded 326 career blocks, ranking 10th in program history, and was a three-time All-Conference performer.
Shaefer Rupar joins the Gustavus volleyball coaching staff in 2019 as an assistant coach. Rupar, a 2018 graduate from Gustavus, spent the past year in Costa Rica teaching English after a four year volleyball career for the Black and Gold. The Merrill, Wis. native appeared in 66 matches in her career, compiling 330 career kills. During her time from 2014-17 the Gusties compiled an overall record of 88-33, winning a conference championship in 2015 and making an NCAA tournament appearance in each of her last three seasons, going as far as the Elite Eight her senior year.
While she was at Gustavus, Rupar coached the Saint Peter JO team for three years as well as working a variety of camps. This Spring, she will begin her Master's degree in ESL.
Shaefer currently lives in Minneapolis, Minn.