#18 Wayne State College needed a career-high 20 kills from junior outside hitter Katie Stephens to help the Wildcats outlast Minnesota State in a Northern Sun Conference volleyball match played Saturday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. Scores of the match were 25-11, 25-21, 17-25, 21-25 and 15-12. Both teams are now 10-3 on the season and 3-2 in NSIC games.
The Wildcats played flawless in the first set, recording 16 kills and no errors in 29 attacks for a .552 percentage in an easy 25-11 set win.
WSC held off a late Maverick rally to win the second set 25-21 as WSC held MSU to a .137 attack percentage with six errors. Stephens had five kills followed by Alyssa Ballenger with four to lead the ‘Cats in the set.
Minnesota State erased an early 5-1 deficit in the third set and pounded out 15 kills to gain momentum in the third set with a 25-17 win.
The Mavericks rallied again in the fourth set, erasing an 18-14 Wildcat lead and turning it into a 25-21 fourth set win to force a fifth set.
Tied at 4-4, WSC scored three straight points on kills from Ballenger and Maddie Knobbe and an ace serve from Tarrin Beller to force a Minnesota State timeout with WSC leading 7-4.
Minnesota State rallied to knot the score at 9-9, then WSC scored three straight points again on a pair of kills from Stephens and a service ace by Haley Kauth for a 12-9 Wildcat lead and another MSU timeout.
WSC finished off the Mavericks with a Stephens kill to win the match 15-12.
Wayne State his .297 in the contest compared to .227 for Minnesota State. The Mavericks held a 67-59 edge in kills, but WSC had a 63-58 advantage in digs and an 8-7 edge in blocks.
Stephens led WSC with her career-high 20 kills followed by Ballenger and Beller with 14 and 11 kills respectively.
Junior libero Haley Kauth had a team-high 16 digs with Morgan Alexander adding 12 and Maddie Duffy 10.
Senior setter Megan Gebhardt was credited with 50 set assists while Beller led WSC in blocks with five and had two of Wayne State’s four service aces.
The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend, visiting Upper Iowa Friday night at 6 p.m. followed by a 4 p.m. Saturday match at Winona State.