#3 WSC volleyball holds off pesky Upper Iowa
FAYETTE, Iowa -- #3 Wayne State overcame a slow start and held back a stubborn Upper Iowa squad in the fourth set for a 23-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-23 Northern Sun Conference volleyball road win Friday evening over the Peacocks in Fayette, Iowa. The Wildcats remain unbeaten on the season at 13-0 and 3-0 in the league while UIU is now 6-4 and 0-3.
WSC got off to a slow start in the match, trailing the entire way in the first set. The ‘Cats were down 4-0 and 16-8 and still trailed 19-11 before rallying late to make the opening set close.
Trailing 24-20, WSC got kills from Taya Beller and Taylor Bunjer and a block from Beller and Rachel Walker to make the score 24-23, but the host Peacocks got match point to win 25-23 in the first set.
Bunjer led WSC in the opening set with three kills.
The Wildcats stormed back in the second set, forcing nine Upper Iowa errors, and the Wildcats cruised to a 25-13 second set win.
Sophomore Brooke Peltz had two service aces in a serving stretch of five straight points that pushed the Wildcat lead in the set to 17-8 as WSC went on to post a 25-13 set win. Beller and Kelsie Cada each had five kills for the Wildcats in the set.
WSC trailed just once in the third set and the ‘Cats took a 2-1 match lead with a 25-16 third set victory.
The Wildcats scored six straight points early in the set to take an 8-3 advantage. WSC maintained at least a four point lead the remainder of the set as sophomore Maggie Brahmer recorded six kills to pace the Wildcats in the set.
The fourth set saw the Wildcats get off to a slow start, trailing 8-4 early. Wayne State still trailed 13-10 in the set but came back to win the set that saw eight ties and three lead changes.
The final lead for UIU came at 17-16. WSC used a successful challenge play that resulted in a Taya Beller kill to even the score at 17-17 and a service ace from Jordan McCormick gave the ‘Cats an 18-17 lead.
The two teams traded several ties until the ‘Cats got a Maggie Brahmer kill and block from Brahmer and Cada to take the lead for good. Match point saw a kill from Brahmer give WSC the 25-23 set win as Brahmer finished with five kills and three blocks in the clinching fourth set.
Wayne State hit .274 in the win while holding Upper Iowa to .185. UIU had seven more kills than WSC but the ‘Cats forced 27 Peacock errors while recording just 11. WSC had six service aces to four by the Peacocks while UIU had nine service errors to just three on the Wildcats. The ‘Cats also held an 8-3 advantage in blocks.
Cada notched her sixth double-double of the season to lead WSC with 16 kills and 14 digs. Brahmer added 15 kills and five blocks while Beller finished with 14 kills and three blocks.
Senior libero Jessie Brandl recorded a career-best 24 digs to go with three service aces while McCormick was credited with 12 digs. Junior setter Rachel Walker handed out 46 set assists.
The Wildcats continue their NSIC road trip at Winona State Saturday at 2 p.m.