Wayne State were unable to get their attack flowing against Minnesota State, falling in a 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Mavericks in NSIC action on Friday evening. The loss moved the Wildcats to 21-8 (12-7 NSIC) while Minnesota State stays in contention for a postseason appearance with a 17-10 mark (10-9 NSIC).
The Wildcats battled with the Mavericks for the majority of the set, falling 10-7 early on in the first. A service ace and kill by sophomore Maddie Duffy helped catch some ground, allowing the Wildcats to claw their way back into the game, tying it at 18-18. The hosts however proved tough to defend, hitting at a .326 pace to take the first set 25-21.
Like the first set, Wayne State spent most of the early points playing catchup. Trailing 15-16, a pair of Maverick errors sandwiched by a Katie Stephens kill gave the Wildcats a two-point advantage. The Mavericks answered right back tying the game at 19 apiece before trading points to 21-21. Minnesota State pulled away, ending the second set on a 4-1 run to close out the second with a 25-22 win and a 2-0 going into intermission.
Wayne State came out in the third on a mission as Duffy served six straight times as the Wildcats jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. The Mavericks responded by cutting a 7-2 deficit to 7-6 before Alyssa Ballenger directed a well-placed attack through the Maverick defense to cut the run and starting another mini run of their own. Despite the hot start, the Wildcats were never able to capitalize on the early advantage. Down 22-18, the Wildcats forced a late timeout from the Mavericks as they spurted a 4-1 run to close the gap. Minnesota State closed out the set in a 25-23 effort, earning the sweep over Wayne State.
The Wildcats struggled offensively, hitting just .130 on the night. Stephens and Ballenger led the Wildcats with seven kills apiece, while senior Megan Gebhardt recorded her sixth double-double of the year with 24 assists and 11 digs. Haley Kauth (12) and Maddie Duffy (11) also recorded double digits in digs.
The Wildcats close out the regular season Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. match at #6 Concordia-St. Paul.