Wayne State Volleyball Continues Unbeaten Streak, Beats Sioux Falls 3-1

Nate Bope, Sports Writer

The Wayne State women’s volleyball team improves to 24-0 after a win over the University of Sioux Falls Cougars in four sets on Thursday, Oct. 20.  

This marks the first time the Wildcats have lost a set in over four matches. The Wildcats move to 14-0 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play and the Cougars move to 8-6 in the NSIC and 12-9 overall.  

“Sioux Falls is scrappy,” Head Coach Scott Kneifl said. “They dug a lot of balls and they played hard. They made a lot of effort plays which surprised us a little.” 

The Wildcats as a team had eight more kills than Sioux Falls. The team overall had 58 kills to the Cougars 50. However, the Cougars effort showed up in the form of digs. Sioux Falls finished with 74 digs and WSC finished with 73.  

The Wildcats attacking lines were led by junior Kelsie Cada with 21 kills, which ties a career high she set earlier this year in a game against University of Mary Marauders. Other kill leaders for the Wildcats were sophomore Taya Beller with 15 and sophomore Maggie Brahmer with 14. Brahmer also led WSC with four blocks.  

Along with Cada tying her career high in kills, junior Rachel Walker set a new career high in digs with 21. Behind her in that category were sophomore Havyn Heinz with 15 digs, Cada with 11 and the senior libero Jessie Brandl with 10.  

The Cougars played a very fast and aggressive style of volleyball. They were led in kills by freshman Courtney Holsteen who had 15. The leader in digs for the Cougars was sophomore Caitlin Kellner, who served as the team’s libero for this game. Freshman Sadie Voss was an effective player for the Cougars. She did a little bit of everything for this team, as she had 10 kills, 15 digs and four blocks, all of which were second on the team.  

“Sadie Voss has great court awareness,” Brandl said. “She is one of those players that if she is set perfectly, she will go for it. Even if she isn’t set perfectly, she still goes for the kill.” 

WSC started the game off well, using a pair of runs where the Wildcats had five straight points to win set number one 25-16. 

The second set was competitively played on both sides. The Wildcats opened the set with a 6-3 lead that would quickly be closed by Sioux Falls. It was a back-and-forth affair for most of this set. WSC took a 24-22 lead late, but Sioux Falls won the next three points, forcing the set to go into extra points. After four different lead changes, and after a lot of Wildcat miscues, Sioux Falls would secure the set 30-28 to tie the match at one set apiece.  

“We pressed a little bit in that second set,” Kneifl said. “We had a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes. Sioux Falls also made some good plays to take that set.” 

The Wildcats would dominate the third set, winning 25-12. In the fourth set, it was et another back-and-forth effort to start the set, but the Wildcats gained control in the middle of the set 15-7, and they kept the pressure on. The Cougars were able to close the gap, but couldn’t win the set, as the Wildcats won the set 25-21 and the match three sets to one. 

“We have a lot of personality on this team,” Brandl said. “That’s what makes playing volleyball so much fun! It’s a fun group to be around and we just have a good time on and off the court.” 

The Wildcats will be hosting their annual blackout game on Tuesday, Oct. 25, against the Augustana University Vikings. The game is slated to start at 6 p.m. in Rice Auditorium.