Volleyball team steamrolls competition at home

Winning three games in a row at home this past week, the Wildcats are in high spirits

Wayne State Athletics
Erin Gross

Evelyn Knox, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College volleyball team improved its overall record to 10-6 after going 3-0 this past week, sweeping all teams in home matches at Rice Auditorium.

The Wildcats opened up the week of contests last Tuesday night, sweeping non-conference opponent South Dakota School of Mines 3-0. WSC came out aggressive early on, led by Erin Gross and Jaci Brahmer, who collectively had 26 kills.

The ’Cats fired on all cylinders, hitting a season best of .375 with
42 kills on 88 attacks and nine errors. Wayne State held an 8-3
advantage in blocks and a 45-36 advantage in digs over the Hardrockers. Sophomore Katie Stephens posted a team-high of 13 digs while junior setter Megan Gebhardt handed out 35 set assists.

“This week we focused on being disciplined on the little things,”
junior defensive specialist Payton Ruhl said. “We really focused on
being givers for our team and just playing relaxed and having fun on
the court.”

Friday evening the ’Cats faced conference opponent Minnesota Crookston, winning 3-0. Brahmer matched a season high with 16
kills for WSC. The second set featured 13 ties and six lead changes.
The Wildcats closed out the set strong scoring the last eight points
which led them to a 25-19 set win.

WSC pulled away in the third set, winning 25-16 to complete the sweep. The ’Cats finished the match with 47 kills on 140 attempts with just 13 errors. Gebhardt handed out 40 set assists, while sophomore Haley Kauth and freshman Alyssa Ballenger each produced 19 digs for the wildcats.

In the final match of the weekend, Wayne State swept Bemidji State University, forcing 25 attack errors Saturday afternoon. Brahmer had a team-high of three blocks and four kills to lead the Wildcats to a 25-11 victory in the first set.

In the second set, WSC had 14 kills while producing another eight attack errors on BSU that led to an easy 25-11 win for the Wildcats. Gross and Stephens each had four kills for the ’Cats in the second set. WSC went on to win the third set 15-12 with help from senior Bree Ackermann and freshman Maddie Duffy, each with two service aces. Gross led WSC in hitting with 13 kills on the match, and sophomore Tarrin Beller added four blocks.

“We all really practiced hard this week … and grew a lot as a team, which really paid off this weekend,” junior setter Morgan Alexander said. “We will continue to keep getting better and making improvements in our game as a team.”

The Wildcats will be on the road this weekend facing NSIC opponents
University of Mary Friday night at 6 p.m., and Minot State Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.