The Wayne State volleyball team swept Minnesota State University Mankato on Friday, Oct. 4 followed by an intense five-set match against No. 8 Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 5 during Wayne State’s homecoming weekend. The ’Cats are now 13-2 while still holding their No. 15 spot in the rankings.
The Wildcats swept the Mankato Mavericks with scores of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-18. The ’Cats served up nine service aces and forced 21 attack errors. The Mavericks dropped to 9-4 overall and 2-3 in league play.
Seniors Katie Stephens and Tarrin Beller led the match with nine kills each.
The second match of the weekend was an intense battle between the ’Cats and No. 8 Concordia-St. Paul. The ’Cats forced a fifth set but fell short 10-15 for their second loss of the season.
“We plan to learn from this loss but also acknowledge that we fought hard till the end,” senior Haley Kauth said. “We’ll use this to fuel us in practice and the rest of the season.”
The Golden Bears attacked early, winning the first two sets. CSP limited Wayne to six kills in the first set with a score of 25-17. In the second set, Concordia-St. Paul recorded 16 kills while hitting .378, to post a 25-12 set win.
“In the first two sets we played a little tense,” Kauth said. “But in the last three we loosened up and just did our thing and trusted each other to do their part.”
Wayne State rallied in the third set from a 20-15 deficit to post a 25-23 set win. Trailing 21-23 a kill from Jaci Brahmer and an error from the Golden Bears tied the set. The ’Cats capped the win 25-23 with a block from Maddie Knobbe and Beller, and CSP gave the set point to the ’Cats with a ball handling error.
WSC won the fourth set 25-19 to push for a fifth. The ’Cats forced 10 attack errors while only having one themselves.
The beginning of the fifth set looked good for the ’Cats. However once tied 8-8, CSP scored five straight points to clinch the win for the overall match.
“Overall, I thought this weekend was well fought,” junior Hope Carter said. “There was a lot of scrappy plays being made, and a lot of bodies hitting the ground to keep a play alive. We faced two tough teams but unfortunately came out 1-1.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to play on the road against Winona State this Friday at 6 p.m.
“In our next 15 matches, 10 are against top 25 opponents,” head coach Scott Kneifl said. “The schedule is very tough from here on out, so we are going to have to take it one game at a time.”