Wildcats Fall to Huskies, St. Cloud State to Face Golden Bears in Regional Final

Nate Bope, Sports Writer

Day two of the Division 2 Central Region Volleyball Tournament has wrapped up, and the Regional Final is set.  

After two fantastic contests, the Concordia St. Paul Golden Bears and the St. Cloud State Huskies each prevailed in four sets to set up a rematch of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament Championship. 

After the sweep against Harding, the host Wayne State College Wildcats entered the semifinal match against the St. Cloud State Huskies. The first set of this semifinal was one of the best sets of the Regional so far. After the Wildcats forced the set into extra points, it was a back-and-forth affair until a service error from Jordan McCormick and a great team block by the Huskies gave St. Cloud State set number one by a score of 30-28. 

The Huskies would take control of set number two and dominated the Wildcats, claiming the second set 25-16 to go up two sets to none. WSC was able to battle back in the third set, winning 25-22, although the Huskies made a comeback effort in the late stages of that third set. 

With the momentum that the Huskies carried through from the end of the third set, the Huskies jumped out to a 16-10 lead. The Wildcats had several efforts at a comeback, eventually coming within one point twice in the set. Yet, every effort to take the lead was met with another rally by the Huskies, who would prevail and knock out the number one seed and host team, ending the Wildcats season. 

This match was dominated by the Huskies on the stat sheet. Outside hitter Kenzie Foley had an other-worldly game. She led the way in kills and digs, with 30 kills and 20 digs. Her fellow outside hitter Linsey Rachel was second with 22 kills and 19 digs. The Huskies had an attacking percentage of .294%, had 20 more kills and 23 more digs than the Wildcats. 

WSC was led in kills by Kelsie Cada with 18 while fellow outside hitter Taya Beller had 17. In her final career game, libero Jessie Brandl led the way with 16 digs. They hit .270%, but could not overcome the dynamite performance on the other side of the net.  

Before the match involving WSC, the other semifinal game took place between the Golden Bears of Concordia St. Paul and the Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth. CSP dominated the Bulldogs, as the Golden Bears had an attacking percentage of .417% with a total of 62 kills and the nine-time National Champions move on to the regional final. The Golden Bears had 29 more kills, 15 more digs and only allowed the Bulldogs to hit .091%.  

The Regional Final between the Golden Bears and Huskies will be played tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 20. The game is slated to kickoff at 4 p.m. at Rice Auditorium on the campus of WSC.