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Wayne State wins home opener over Augustana

WAYNE, Nebraska (Courtesy – #17 Wayne State used a balanced attack with three players over 10 kills as the Wildcats topped Augustana 25-22, 22-25, 25-12, 25-16 in the 14th annual Pack the House/Black Out Night sponsored by the WSC SPORTS Club at Rice Auditorium in Wayne Tuesday evening. The non-conference match attracted a crowd of 1,147 fans, making it the ninth-highest attended single game volleyball match in Rice Auditorium. WSC is now 10-1 on the season with Augustana sporting an 8-3 record.

Both teams came out strong attacking the ball in a first set that featured eight ties and five lead changes. Augustana held a 20-19 lead, but WSC took control late with four straight points on kills from Tarrin Beller, back-to-back kills from Katie Stephens and a kill by Jaci Brahmer for a 23-20 lead with WSC ending the set with a 25-22 win.

Augustana battled back in the second set and produced 17 kills, surging late in the set to record a 25-22 victory to even the match at 1-1.

Wayne State responded in the third set, never trailing while building a big early lead on the way to a 25-12 third set win. With the score tied early at 5-5, WSC scored six of the next seven points to take an 11-6 lead. Back-to-back kills from Stephens forced an Augustana timeout at 14-7 and the ‘Cats banged out 17 kills while holding the Vikings to just five in the set.

The Wildcats never trailed in the fourth set, taking an early 4-0 advantage. The Vikings got as close at 9-7 before WSC scored five straight points for a 14-7 lead. WSC extended the lead to 19-11 to force an Augustana timeout as the Wildcats went on to notch a 25-16 set win to take the match 3-1.

Wayne State ended the match hitting .265 with 62 kills while Augustana recorded a .149 attack percentage with 44 kills. The Wildcats held a 98-81 advantage in digs over the Vikings and had a 5.5 to 5.0 edge in blocks. Augustana had one more service ace than WSC 6-5.

Senior Katie Stephens led a balanced Wildcat attack with 14 kills followed by freshman Kelsie Cada with 13 kills and 16 digs and junior Jaci Brahmer 12 kills.

Senior libero Haley Kauth and junior defensive specialist Hope Carter each recorded 24 digs. Redshirt freshman setter Rachel Walker was credited with 50 set assists, 15 digs and three service aces.

Wayne State will be at home again Friday evening hosting Minot State in a 6 p.m. match at Rice Auditorium.

Devin Reiners

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