#2 Northern State posted a .392 attack percentage and after two close sets pulled away in the third set for a 25-22, 25-20 and 25-14 Northern Sun Conference volleyball sweep Friday evening over Wayne State College at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The host Wolves improved to 20-1 and 12-1 in the NSIC with the win while WSC falls to 16-6 and 8-5 in NSIC games.
Wayne State battled with the Wolves for the first two sets, but could not keep pace with the hot hitting Northern State club. The Wildcats entered weekend play with the #1 opponent attack percentage in the NSIC, holding opponents to a .139 attack percentage.
The first set saw the Wildcats get down early 8-1. But WSC came back and got as close as two at 15-13 followed a NSU error to force a timeout. After NSU pushed the lead back to four at 20-16, WSC rallied and tied the score at 20-20 thanks to a Jaci Brahmer kill, two straight kills by Katie Stephens and another from Tarrin Beller. But NSU stopped the Wildcat rally and finished the first set with a 25-22 win.
The second set was a tight battle featuring 13 ties and four lead changes. WSC held the lead until a late scoring surge by the Wolves gave Northern State a 25-20 set win.
WSC held a two point lead 14-12 following a Stephens kill. But NSU scored five of the next six points to take a 17-15 lead, forcing a Wildcat timeout. The Wildcats countered with four of the following five points and regained the advantage at 19-18. But another scoring streak by the Wolves, producing seven of the final eight points in the set, gave Northern State the 25-20 set win.
Northern State’s hot hitting was too much for WSC in the third set as the Wolves hit .457 with 19 kills and just three errors on 35 attempts as NSU completed the sweep with a 25-14 third set victory.
Northern State hit .392 in the match compared to Wayne State’s .211 (41 kills, 14 errors, 128 attacks). The Wolves also held a 4.5-3.0 edge in blocks on WSC while both teams had two service aces.
Katie Stephens paced Wayne State in hitting with 13 kills. Alyssa Ballenger and Tarrin Beller each recorded eight kills. Senior setter Megan Gehbardt accounted for 39 set assists with junior libero Haley Kauth credited with 11 digs.
Wayne State visits MSU Moorhead Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. NSIC contest.