#22 Wayne State College used 16 kills from senior rightside hitter Erin Gross along with double-doubles from sophomore Katie Stephens and freshman Alyssa Ballenger to lead the Wildcats in a 25-17, 18-25, 25-23 and 25-18 Northern Sun Conference volleyball win at #16 Augustana Tuesday evening at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Wildcats move into a tie with the Vikings for seventh place in the NSIC with 9-7 league marks. WSC is now 16-10 overall while Augustana is now 18-8.
The Wildcats rode the hot hitting of Stephens in the first set (eight kills) to post a 25-17 first set win. WSC forced seven Augustana attack errors while posting a .294 attack percentage to get off to the fast start.
WSC opened the second set with a 6-0 lead, but that advantage quickly evaporated as the Vikings stormed back to take a 25-18 set win to even the match at 1-1.
Augustana came out on fire in the third set, building leads of 9-3 and 15-9. But WSC rallied and turned a 17-14 deficit into a 23-18 lead as the Wildcats finished strong for a 25-23 third set win. The ‘Cats forced eight Augustana errors (three on blocks) and used five kills from Stephens and four by Erin Gross to rally for the set win.
In the fourth set, WSC used seven kills from Gross and forced seven more Augustana errors with four coming on blocks as the Wildcats finished the match with a 25-18 fourth set win. Megan Gebhardt, Maddie Duffy and Stephens each had service aces to help seal the win.
WSC finished the match hitting .193 with 51 kills on 150 attempts with 22 errors while Augustana posted a .146 attack percentage with 51 kills, 27 errors and 164 attacks. The Wildcats held a 9-8 edge in blocks over the Vikings and had nine more digs (79-70) than Augustana.
Gross led a balanced Wildcat attack at the net with 16 kills followed by Stephens with her fourth straight double-double on 16 kills and 18 digs. Freshman Alyssa Ballenger accounted for her second double-double of the season (both vs. Augustana) with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Junior setter Megan Gebhardt handed out 45 set assists and had two of Wayne State’s four service aces. Sophomore libero Haley Kauth notched 16 digs with freshman Hope Carter adding 15 digs.
Wayne State will be on the road this weekend with NSIC matches at Bemidji State Friday night at 6 p.m. and Minnesota Crookston Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.