No. 22 Wayne State Volleyball went 1-1 this weekend facing NSIC conference opponents St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth. The Wildcats are now 19-11 overall and 12-8 in NSIC games.
Two Wildcats were honored with All-Conference awards. Senior Erin Gross was named First Team NSIC All-Conference averaging 3.14 Kills per set. Redshirt freshman Jaci Brahmer was named second team NSIC All-Conference, being third in blocks per set in the NSIC.
“Even though we came up short on Saturday, we played at a high level and as a team the entire weekend,” said senior Erin Gross. “We will just keep playing for each other and staying together as a team.”
In the final home game of the season, the ’Cats avenged an earlier loss in the season to St. Cloud by sweeping the Huskies Friday afternoon 3-0.
The Wildcats won the first set 25-17 after trailing early in the set 9-6. The ’Cats forced eight St. Cloud attack errors with help from a Haley Kauth service ace.
The Wildcats moved on to win the second set 25-19. WSC forced three straight St. Cloud errors early in the set. Freshman Alyssa Ballinger led WSC in the second set with four kills while Kauth and Hope Carter each recorded six digs.
Wayne State moved on to win the third set 25-21 sweeping SCSU 3-0. The third set was highlighted by Kauth serving nine consecutive points.
Gross had four kills with no errors on eight attacks to lead Wayne State while Katie Stephens and Kauth each contributed two service aces. Stephens led WSC with nine kills followed by Ballinger with eight and Gross with seven. Junior setter Megan Gebhardt dished out 31 assists in the sweep.
In the second game of the weekend, Wayne State faced No. 6 Minnesota Duluth falling in five sets 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
WSC lost the first set 25-23 after a late rally by UMD. Brahmer contributed six kills while Ballinger recorded two service aces in the set.
Wayne State took the second set 25-22. WSC faced nine UMD attack errors in the second set while Brahmer and Gross led WSC with three kills each in the set.
After an early 13-13 tie in the third set, Minnesota Duluth went on a run to win the set 25- 17, while forcing six Wildcat attack errors. The third set saw 12 ties and seven lead changes.
Wayne State came out early on top in the fourth set with an early lead 6-1. After several lead changes WSC held off the Bulldogs to win the fourth set 25-23. Beller, Brashmer and Gross each were credited with three kills in the set while freshman Maddie Duffy and Katie Stephens each had service aces.
The fifth set saw five ties and two lead changes. UMD went on to win the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Brahmer recorded 20 kills in the match to lead WSC followed by Gross with 10 kills. Sophomore libero Haley Kauth contributed 16 digs with Stephens adding 10 for the ’Cats. Megan Gebhardt dished out 44 set assets. Tarring Beller recorded a team high six blocks while Ballinger was credited with three service aces in the match.
“Despite the fact that we lost in five on Saturday, I thought we played an intense game and fought hard as a team,” said Brahmer. “Going into the conference tournament, we are going to continue playing hard every single point and take it one game at a time.”
Wayne State will play at Concordia-St.Paul in the first round of the NSIC Tournament this evening in a 6 p.m. contest in St. Paul, Minnesota.