Volleyball starts strong with 3-1 record after second tourney

Rachel Vogt, Staff Writer

The Wildcat volleyball team improved its record to 3-1 after competing in the Colorado Mines Tournament this past weekend.

The Wildcats started the tournament off strong with a 3-1 win over Rollins Friday afternoon. The first set of the tournament featured eight ties and six lead changes throughout the course of the 25-20 Wildcat win. Rollins battled back in the second set with a 25-19 win. The third set was a close win for the Wildcats with a final score of 25-23, which included five service aces, two from freshman Maddie Duffy and one each by Alyssa Ballenger, Hope Carter, and Haley Kauth. The Wildcats finished the match in the fourth set with a 25-14 win. Freshman Jaci Brahmer had four kills and four blocks to help push WSC to victory.

Wayne State then went on to push to a 3-1 win over the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds. Sophomore Katie Stephens pushed the Wildcats to a 25-16 set win with four kills at the net. Eastern New Mexico sought victory in the second set, as the Greyhounds won with a score of 25-19. The Wildcats turned the momentum back their way in the third set. Freshman, Alyssa Ballenger, pushed the Wildcats to victory with five kills. The fourth set put the Greyhounds away in the fourth set with a 25-14 win to defeat Eastern New Mexico 3-1. Senior Erin Gross led WSC in hitting with 13 kills, followed by Crofton junior, middle hitter Maria Wortmann with 10 kills. Freshman Alyssa Ballenger accounted for nine kills while sophomore Katie Stephens had eight in the match.

Wayne State then went on to sweep Western New Mexico in three. The first set included nine ties, and five lead changes early in the match. The Wildcats then swept ahead to finish off the Mustangs 25-23. As a team, the Wildcats had seven blocks and forced 12 attack errors on the Mustangs. The Wildcats never trailed the Mustangs in the second set to find a 25-15 victory. The third set was a battle early on with 11 ties and five lead changes until the Wildcats scored the last five points of the set to break a 20-20 tie. Sophomore Katie Stephens had six kills and six digs for the Wildcats while Alyssa Ballenger added 10 digs.

WSC went on to battle against Cal State San Bernadino. The Wildcats edged the Coyotes in the first two sets, but the Coyotes rallied to outlast the Wildcats in the last three sets. The Wildcats pulled ahead in the first set to win 25-21. Ballenger recorded five digs in the set. In the second set, the Wildcats recorded 13 kills to lead from the start to end the set with a 25-16 victory. Cal State started a comeback
in the third set with a 25-22 win, and then went on to take down the Wildcats in the fourth set as well with a score of 25-19 and 18 kills in the set. The Cal State Coyotes kept their momentum throughout the fifth set to come out on top of WSC 18-16.