Wayne State College needed 15 blocks and a double-double from redshirt freshman Jaci Brahmer as the 13th-ranked Wildcats opened the 2017 volleyball season with a 3-1 win over Rollins (Fla.) Friday afternoon at the 2017 Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colorado. Scores of the match were 25-20, 19-25, 25-23 and 25-14.
The first set was a battle that featured eight ties and six lead changes. With WSC trailing 19-18, the ‘Cats scored seven of the last eight points in the set to post a 25-20 win. Highlighting the late Wildcat rally were a pair of kills from junior Maria Wortmann to go with a Wortmann and Tarrin Beller block while also forcing four Rollins attack errors.
Rollins came back in the second set with a 25-19 win as the Tars hit .270 in the set with 17 kills to even the match.
The third set saw WSC hold off a late Rollins rally as the ‘Cats registered a 25-23 set win. The Wildcats had five service aces in the set, two from freshman Maddie Duffy and one each by Alyssa Ballenger, Haley Kauth and Hope Carter, to go with four blocks.
WSC finished off the match in the fourth set with a 25-14 win, using five blocks while forcing Rollins into 10 attack errors. Brahmer had four kills and four blocks to lead a balanced Wildcat effort to close out the match.
Wayne State hit .184 for the match with 44 kills on 147 attacks and 17 errors while Rollins was right behind with a .181 attack percentage, recording 56 kills on 149 attempts with 29 errors. Rollins held a 76-56 advantage in digs, but WSC held a sizeable 15-4 edge in blocks and had seven service aces to four by Rollins.
Redshirt freshman Jaci Brahmer notched a double-double in her first Wildcat match, accounting for 13 kills and 11 blocks while hitting .345. Senior Erin Gross followed with 12 kills and five blocks. Junior middle hitter Maria Wortmann produced eight kills and four blocks while freshman Alyssa Ballenger was credited with seven kills and 13 digs.
Sophomore libero Haley Kauth was one of four Wildcats in double figure digs with a team-high 14. Senior Bree Ackermann added 13 with freshman Hope Carter coming up with 11.
Carter and Maddie Duffy each had two service aces for the Wildcats while junior setter Megan Gebhardt handed out 37 set assists to go with seven blocks.E
Wayne State College forced 36 attack errors on Eastern New Mexico as the 13th-ranked Wildcats posted a 3-1 win over the Greyhounds Friday afternoon at the 2017 Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colorado. Scores of the match were 25-16, 19-25, 25-17 and 25-14. WSC is now 2-0 on the year while ENMU drops to 0-1.
The first set saw WSC force 10 attack errors on Eastern New Mexico as the ‘Cats controlled the Greyhounds for a 25-16 set win. Sophomore Katie Stephens fueled the Wildcat attack at the net with four kills.
Eastern New Mexico found success in the second set, forcing WSC into 11 attack errors and a -.069 hitting percentage, as the Greyhounds evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-19 set win.
Wayne State regained the momentum in the third set, holding ENMU to a .000 attack percentage with 11 errors while registering 12 kills to post a 25-17 third set win. Freshman Alyssa Ballenger had the hot hand for WSC in the third set with five kills.
The ‘Cats put away the Greyhounds in the fourth set with 13 kills on just 20 attacks and no errors for a .650 attack percentage as WSC finished the match with a 25-14 win to defeat Eastern New Mexico 3-1.
Wayne State hit .250 in the match with 45 kills and 18 errors on 108 attempts while holding Eastern New Mexico to a .028 attack percentage with 40 kills, 36 errors and 144 attacks.
WSC held a 10-7 edge in blocks over Eastern New Mexico and had six more digs than the Greyhounds 50-44.
Senior Erin Gross led WSC in hitting with 13 kills and a .458 attack percentage followed by Crofton junior middle hitter Maria Wortmann with 10 kills and five blocks.
Freshman Alyssa Ballenger accounted for nine kills with sophomore Katie Stephens adding eight.
Junior setter Megan Gebhardt was credited with 42 digs and had three service aces along with freshman Maddie Duffy.
Wayne State will play two more matches Saturday at the 2017 Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colorado, battling Western New Mexico at 10 a.m. and #15 Cal State – San Bernardino at 2 p.m.