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Wayne State Volleyball rallies to beat Upper Iowa in five

Wayne State Volleyball rallies to beat Upper Iowa in five

Wayne State College rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to outlast Upper Iowa in a Northern Sun Conference volleyball match played Saturday afternoon at Rice Auditorium in Wayne. Scores of the match were 25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-13. WSC is now 21-7 and 12-6 in league play while UIU slips to 17-9 and 10-8 in NSIC games.

The ‘Cats rallied from a 17-14 deficit in the first set to register a 25-20 set win that featured five ties and 11 lead changes. With the set tied at 20-20, Morgan Alexander served the final five points for the Wildcats that included a service ace on set point for the 25-20 win.

Upper Iowa produced 18 kills in the second set while holding WSC to a .098 attack percentage as the Peacocks tied the match with a 25-23 victory. The set produced many long rallies with UIU recording 35 digs to Wayne State’s 34.

The third set featured seven lead changes and 12 ties between the two clubs. WSC held a 21-20 lead, and with the set tied at 22, the Peacocks scored the final three points to take a 25-22 third set win.

Wayne State never trailed in the fourth set, taking an early 10-1 lead before finishing with a 25-20 fourth set win to force a fifth and deciding set. Alyssa Ballenger and Jaci Brahmer each had five kills for the ‘Cats in the set.

The fifth set saw WSC rally from a 9-6 deficit to the Peacocks with Wayne State holding off Upper Iowa for a 15-13 set win to take the match 3-2. The Wildcats had four blocks in the final set with Stephens recording three kills. WSC also forced nine Upper Iowa attack errors in the fifth and deciding set, holding the Peacocks to a -.067 attack percentage.

Wayne State hit .167 in the match compared to .140 for Upper Iowa. UIU held a 73-58 edge in kills over the Wildcats, but WSC forced 38 attack errors on the Peacocks that included 15 blocks. The Peacocks had 132 digs to 122 for WSC while both teams had seven service aces.

Sophomore Alyssa Ballenger had a career-high 17 kills to lead WSC followed by Katie Stephens with 15. Sophomore Jaci Brahmer produced 10 blocks in the win followed by Megan Gebhardt with seven.

Junior Haley Kauth had 35 digs, one shy of her career high. Sophomore Maddie Duffy posted a career-high in digs with 24 along with Hope Carter at 22. Morgan Alexander accounted for 12 digs while setter Megan Gebhardt had a double-double with 45 set assists and 11 digs to go with her seven blocks and a team-high three service aces.

WSC will be on the road next weekend playing at Minnesota State Friday at 6 p.m. and #1 Concordia-St. Paul Saturday at 2 p.m.

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