Freshman outside hitter Kelsie Cada recorded a match-high 11 kills and three service aces to lead #13 Wayne State College to a 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 Northern Sun Conference volleyball sweep Tuesday evening at 18th-ranked Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minnesota. The win marked the 15th time in the last 16 years that Wayne State College has won 20 or more matches in a single season. WSC is now 20-5 overall and 11-5 in the NSIC while SMSU drops to 14-10 and 8-8 in league play.
The Wildcats set the tone defensively from the start as WSC forced five SMSU attack errors with two blocks to an early 7-1 lead in the opening set.
The host Mustangs rallied and got as close as 16-13 to force a Wildcat timeout. But the ‘Cats responded and finished the set forcing 11 SMSU attack errors (five blocks) in the first set to finish with a 25-18 set win.
Katie Stephens led WSC with four kills in the opening set followed by Cada with three.
WSC never trailed in the second set, building a 22-13 lead before closing with a 25-21 set win.
The ‘Cats forced nine more Mustang attack errors in the set (five blocks) with Tarrin Beller producing four kills in the set to pave the way for the Wildcats.
Wayne State had to rally in the third set that featured 10 ties and five lead changes.
The Wildcats were down 9-6 and scored four straight points that culminated with an ace from senior Haley Kauth giving WSC a 10-9 lead.
SMSU scored three straight to regain the lead at 12-10 and neither team held a lead of more than two points until the late stages of the set.
The Mustangs had their last lead at 19-18. With the score knotted at 20-20, WSC closed out the set scoring five straight points that were highlighted by back-to-back service aces from Cada as the ‘Cats completed the sweep with a 25-20 set win.
Wayne State finished the match with a .165 attack percentage on 34 kills, 16 errors and 109 attacks. SMSU was held to a .075 attack percentage on 34 kills, 25 errors and 120 attacks.
The Wildcats had two more digs than SMSU (53-51) and held a 12-8 edge in blocks over the Mustangs. WSC also had six service aces to just two for the Mustangs.
Cada accounted for a match-high 11 kills to lead WSC followed by Katie Stephens with seven. Tarrin Beller and Jaci Brahmer each had five blocks for the ‘Cats while Cada had three of Wayne State’s six service aces.
Senior libero Haley Kauth produced 15 digs with junior Hope Carter adding 10 and redshirt freshman Rachel Walker handed out 29 set assists in the win.
Wayne State will be on the road again this weekend visiting Minot State Friday night at 6 p.m. and the University of Mary Saturday morning at 11 a.m.