Junior Katie Stephens matched a career-high with 20 kills while sophomore Alyssa Ballenger posted a career-best 18 kills to lead the Wayne State College volleyball team to a 3-1 win at #6 Concordia-St. Paul Saturday afternoon at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Scores of the match were 28-26, 25-21, 17-25, 25-15. Wayne State is now 22-8 and 13-7 in NSIC games while Concordia-St. Paul drops to 22-7 and 16-4 in league matches.
Stephens and Ballenger set the tone for the Wildcats in the first set as the duo combined for 11 of Wayne State’s 16 kills in the set. WSC led throughout the set and had set point at 24-21, but the Golden Bears rallied to even the score at 24-24. Still tied at 26-26, the ‘Cats got a kill from Ballenger followed by a service ace from Tarrin Beller to win the first set 28-26.
The second set was back and forth featuring seven ties and three lead changes. With CSP leading 16-15, WSC got a kill from Jaci Brahmer, followed by a block from Beller and Stephens and consecutive kills from Stephens to take the lead for good at 19-16. After CSP got within one at 21-20, WSC used a Golden Bear service error, a kill from Ballenger, another service error and a kill on set point from senior setter Megan Gebhardt to take the second set 25-21.
The host Golden Bears hit a sizzling .484 in the third set with 18 kills as Concordia-St. Paul pulled away late in the set for a 25-17 win over the Wildcats.
Wayne State reversed the momentum in the fourth set, posting a .464 attack percentage with 14 kills and just one attack error on 28 attacks, led by six kills from Stephens and four more by Ballenger, to knock off the Golden Bears with a 25-15 fourth set win to take the match 3-1.
The Wildcats finished the match hitting .353 with 58 kills and only 11 errors on 133 attacks while Concordia-St. Paul recorded a .296 attack percentage with 69 kills, 22 errors and 159 attacks. WSC held a 60-55 edge in digs and had a 6.5-6.0 advantage in blocks. Wayne State had six service aces and just three errors in the win while Concordia-St. Paul had four aces and eight service errors.
Stephens matched her career-high with 20 kills to lead Wayne State, hitting .350 in the match. Ballenger topped her previous career-high by one kill and finished with 18 to go with a stellar .472 attack percentage.
Junior libero Haley Kauth had 15 digs for WSC followed by junior Morgan Alexander with 13. Alexander had three of Wayne State’s six service aces in the win.
Senior setter Megan Gebhardt handed out 50 set assists and had three blocks in the match along with Beller to share team-high honors.
Wayne State will play in the Northern Sun Conference Tournament Tuesday evening against Southwest Minnesota State at 8:00 p.m. in Marshall, MN.