#18 Wayne State College used double-doubles from sophomore Katie Stephens and freshman Alyssa Ballenger to outlast #12 Augustana in five sets Tuesday evening in the 12th annual Pack The House/Black Out Night match played at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. Scores of the match were 25-19, 25-22, 12-25, 19-25 and 15-11. The Wildcats improve to 7-4 and 2-1 in league play while the visiting Vikings fall to 8-4 and 0-3 in the NSIC.
The official attendance of 1,056 on Pack The House/Black Out Night was the 11th biggest crowd in Wildcat volleyball history. Nine of the top 11 single game attendance marks for WSC home volleyball have taken place on Black Out Night sponsored by the WSC SPORTS Club.
The first set saw WSC post a 25-19 set win as senior Erin Gross paved the way for the ‘Cats with five kills. The ‘Cats recorded a team-best 15 kills and a .239 attack percentage to take the early lead.
The second set was a closer battle with nine ties and three lead changes, but WSC scored the final three points of the set following a 22-22 tie to win 25-22. The ‘Cats used a Tarrin Beller kill to take a 23-22 lead, then forced back-to-back Augustana attack errors to complete the 25-22 set win. Ballenger produced a team-high five kills in the set to lead the Wildcats.
Augustana held WSC to just six kills in the third set to dominate with a 25-12 set win.
The Vikings hit a sizzling .390 in the fourth set, recording 19 kills and just three attack errors, to down the Wildcats 25-19 to force a fifth and deciding set.
The fifth set saw seven ties and five lead changes. WSC trailed early 6-4, but used kills from Ballenger, Megan Gebhardt and Stephens to take a 7-6 lead.
Augustana came back and took their final lead of the set at 9-8. WSC then reeled off three straight points to take the lead for good at 11-9 – kills from Beller and Ballenger along with an Augustana attack error.
Following an Augustana point that made the score 11-10, WSC used a kill from Beller followed by two Augustana errors to take a 14-10 lead. WSC forced another Viking attack error on match point to win 15-11.
Ballenger had four kills in the fifth and deciding set with Beller adding three for the ‘Cats.
Augustana hit .194 for the match compared to .188 for Wayne State. The Vikings had 66 kills on 186 attempts with 30 errors while WSC had 58 kills on 192 attacks and 22 errors.
The Vikings held a 98-77 advantage in digs and 11-7 in blocks over the Wildcats. Both teams had five service aces.
Stephens led a balanced Wildcat effort with 15 kills and 18 digs for her second double-double of the season. Ballenger accounted for 14 kills and 17 digs for her first double-double of the year. Erin Gross finished with 12 kills and Beller added 11.
Beller paced WSC at the net with six blocks followed by four from Gross. Haley Kauth and Bree Ackermann each had two service aces. Kauth accounted for a team-high 24 digs while freshman Maddie Duffy added 11. Junior setter Megan Gebhardt was credited with 51 set assists.
Wayne State will be on the road this weekend, visiting #6 Minnesota Duluth Friday night at 6 p.m. followed by a Saturday afternoon 1 p.m. contest at St. Cloud State.