Despite double-doubles from Katie Stephens and Jaci Brahmer, #19 Central Oklahoma handed #20 Wayne State College its first loss of the season Saturday afternoon at the South Central Volleyball Classic in Durant, Oklahoma. Scores of the match were 25-21, 17-25, 26-24 and 25-22. The Bronchos are now 6-2 on the year with the Wildcats at 7-1.
Central Oklahoma led from start to finish in the first set for a 25-21 win. Trailing by as much as four points, WSC several times crept to within one point, with the last time coming at 21-20 following a UCO attack error. But the Bronchos scored four of the final five points to close out the set for a 25-21 win.
The ‘Cats bounced back with the momentum in the second set, taking an early 6-2 lead to force a Central Oklahoma timeout. WSC extended the lead throughout the set, leading 22-12, before finishing with the 25-17 win.
Wayne State led a majority of the third set until a late rally by Central Oklahoma lifted the Bronchos to a 26-24 set win. The ‘Cats jumped out to a 10-3 advantage, fueled by a pair of service aces from Alyssa Ballenger. But Central Oklahoma slowly came back and forced a WSC timeout with the ‘Cats still leading 20-18.
The teams traded points and were tied at 24-24 until Central Oklahoma used a kill and service ace to edge the Wildcats 26-24 in the third set.
Central Oklahoma never trailed in the fourth set, although WSC rallied from a 17-10 deficit to get as close as one point at 21-20 following a Tarrin Beller kill but UCO scored the next two points to back up 23-20 and finished with a 25-22 victory to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.
Wayne State outhit Central Oklahoma in the contest .182 to .135. The ‘Cats had 51 kills and 19 errors on 176 attacks while UCO recorded 53 kills and 30 errors on 171 total attacks. Central Oklahoma had one more service ace than WSC, 7-6, while the Wildcats held a 13-9 edge in blocks over the Bronchos.
Stephens and Brahmer each had double-doubles to lead the Wildcats. Stephens produced 15 kills and 15 digs while Brahmer accounted for 14 kills and 10 blocks at the net. Senior setter Megan Gebhardt had 43 assists while junior libero Haley Kauth had 28 digs. Sophomore Alyssa Ballenger had three of Wayne State’s six service aces in the match.
Wayne State opens Northern Sun Conference play Thursday evening at Sioux Falls in a 6 p.m. contest.