Volleyball goes 1-1

Evelyn Knox, Staff Writer

The #12 Wayne State volleyball team went 1-1 on the road this past weekend against NSIC opponents Minnesota Crookston and Bemidji State. WSC is now 18-4 overall and 9-4 in conference play.

In the first game of the weekend, WSC swept Crookston led by outside hitter Katie Stephens with 15 kills in the match followed by freshman outside hitter Kelsie Cada with a team best of five kills in the match for the ‘Cats.

“When we prepare for games we just focus on the team and how we can get better as a team because that’s what is most important,” junior outside hitter Alyssa Ballenger said.

WSC held a 50-34 advantage over UMC with 41 kills and just eight errors on 92 attacks in the contest. Wayne State also recorded seven service aces with a .359 attack percentage, the third-best team attack percentage on the season.

“We played hard and took control of Crookston pretty easily on Friday night,” Ballenger said. “We knew the games this weekend were huge even if the teams didn’t look very good in the rankings. Every game is important.”

In the second game of the weekend, Wayne State was shocked by Bemidji State Saturday afternoon falling 3-1. Stephens paced WSC with 16 kills on the contest followed by redshirt junior Jaci Brahmer with 10.

“Saturday afternoon Bemidji came out strong, and unfortunately controlled most of the momentum in the game,” Ballenger said.

WSC outhit Bemidji in the loss .256 to .242 while the Beavers held a 55-47 edge in kills over WSC and a 51-43 advantage in digs. WSC held a 7-3 advantage in service aces in the contest over Bemidji and a 9-8 edge in blocks over the Beavers.

Cada had a team high 11 digs for the ‘Cats while junior defensive specialist Hope Carter contributed four service aces in the match. Brahmer had five blocks for WSC followed by junior middle hitter Maddie Knobbe with four. Redshirt freshman setter Rachel Walker was credited with 40 set assets in the match for Wayne State.

“The loss to Bemidji definitely was a hard one to take, but we haven’t lost our confidence,” Brahmer said. “We are going to learn from this loss, work hard in practice this week, continue to believe we can reach our goals, and hopefully turn that into two wins this upcoming weekend.”

Wayne State will be on the road again Thursday evening playing conference rival Augustana in a 6 p.m. contest.