#18 Wayne State College forced 34 attack errors that included 14 blocks as the Wildcats edged Upper Iowa Friday evening in a Northern Sun Conference volleyball match played at Dorman Gymnasium in Fayette, Iowa. Scores of the match were 26-24, 27-25, 27-25. The Wildcats are now 11-3 and 4-2 in the NSIC while the host Peacocks drop to 8-6 and 1-5 in league games.
The first set between the two clubs featured 12 ties and four lead changes. With the score tied at 15, WSC appeared to gain momentum scoring five of the next six points, forcing an Upper Iowa timeout that gave the ‘Cats a 20-16 lead following a Tarrin Beller solo block.
The ‘Cats still held a 23-18 lead in the opening set when the Peacocks stormed back to even the set at 24. WSC closed the set with a Maddie Knobbe solo block and an Upper Iowa attack error to win the set 26-24.
Wayne State built an early 17-11 advantage in the second set, then had to rally from set point down 24-22 to win 27-25. The ‘Cats faced three set points from Upper Iowa and survived each one. Down 24-22, WSC used a Jaci Brahmer kill and block by Brahmer and Alyssa Ballenger to tie the score at 24.
Following a WSC service error that gave the Peacocks a 25-24 lead, WSC responded with a Brahmer kill, Maddie Duffy service ace and a block by Brahmer and Megan Gebhardt to rally for a 27-25 second set win.
The third set was another close battle that featured seven lead changes and 14 ties. WSC took an early 10-5 lead forcing a Peacock timeout, but UIU responded with the next five points to even the score at 10.
Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the set. WSC faced a pair of set points again from Upper Iowa and again responded. Down 25-24, the Wildcats used a Brahmer kill followed by a Brahmer/Gebhardt block and an attack error by Upper Iowa to win another close set 27-25 to sweep the match.
Upper Iowa held a 54-35 edge in kills over WSC. The Wildcats hit .160 with 35 kills, 10 errors and 156 attacks while the Peacocks posted a .105 percentage with 54 kills, 34 errors and191 attempts.
Wayne State held a commanding 14-4 edge in blocks while the host Peacocks had five service aces to just one for the Wildcats.
Stephens notched her third double-double of the year with 10 kills and 15 digs for WSC. Brahmer added eight kills with seven blocks. Beller and Ballenger each had six kills with Beller accounting for six blocks along with setter Megan Gebhardt, who had 30 assists and 11 digs for her second double-double of the year. Junior libero Haley Kauth had 21 digs while Duffy and junior Morgan Alexander recorded 17 and 14 digs respectively.
Wayne State will be in action again Saturday afternoon visiting Winona State in a 4 p.m. NSIC contest.