No. 2 Duluth edges No. 11 WSC volleyball in five sets

Trenton Hall, Staff Writer

The Wayne State volleyball team gave No. 2 Duluth all they could handle.
The No. 11 Wildcats arrived in Duluth, Minn., Friday night to play against the No. 2 team Minnesota Duluth last Friday.

The Wildcats fell short with a 3-2 set loss against the Bulldogs, the scores of the match was 25-22, 23-25, 19-25, 25-21 and 13-15.

Katie Hughes and Michael Mestl both finished the game with a double-double as Hughes collected 12 kills and 28 digs and Mestl followed with 14 kills and 21 digs.

Courtney VanGroningen pitched in 18 digs and Leisa McClintock paced the Wildcats with 41 assists.

Wayne State hit .150 in the match while Duluth had a .286 attack percentage.

Minnesota Duluth held a 74-53 advantage in kills, but WSC made up for that in the serving area with nine service aces while the Bulldogs had just one with 13 service errors.

UMD had a 13-8 edge in blocks over the ‘Cats and a 96-81 advantage in digs over WSC.

The following night, the Wildcats bounced back the next day with a 3-0 set win against St. Cloud State.

The scores of that match was 25-16, 25-21, and 25-15.

Wayne State hit .191 in the match while limiting St. Cloud to a .109 attack percentage.

The ‘Cats had one more kill than the Huskies, 37-36, while the Huskies held a 72-67 advantage in digs against WSC.

Wayne State had 10 service aces in the contest with just one error and had one more block than SCSU, 6-5.

Hughes was the only Wildcat in double digit kills with a match-high 13. Add with her 14 digs, Hughes recorded her 16th double-double of the season.

Elizabeth Gebhardt followed with eight kills and had five blocks.

Mestl led WSC in digs with 17 and had five service aces while VanGroningen finished with 16 digs. Alex Opperman led the ‘Cats with six blocks while McClintock handed out 27 set assists.

The Wildcats’ record is now 22-5 overall.

Wayne State is also listed fifth in the first Central Region standings that came out last Wednesday.

The top eight teams in the region will advance to the NCAA Central Regional Tournament November 20-22 at the site of the top seed.

The Central Region consists of teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Great American Conference and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Wayne State wants to be ranked as highly as they can, however, as the conference tournament champions have an automatic bid into the tournament, which could steal some spots.

Wayne State has two more games left before the regular season is over.

Both games are home games at Rice Auditorium against Minnesota Crookston and Bemidji State.