Junior middle hitter Maggie Brahmer notched her 1,000th career kill to highlight top-ranked Wayne State’s 25-23, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of University of Sioux Falls in Tuesday’s opening round of the Northern Sun Conference tournament at Rice Auditorium.
The first set was a tight one that included nine ties and seven lead changes before Wayne State closed out the set with an ace serve by Kelsie Cada and a kill by freshman Channatee Robles.
Wayne State put some distance between themselves and the eighth-seeded Cougars in the second set. Brahmer got her 1,000th career kill during the second as the Wildcats pulled away from a 17-16 edge to take the two-set advantage. Brahmer had six of her 12 kills in that second set, while Cada added five kills and Robles four.
Wayne State got out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and cruised to the three-set win. Cada recorded six of her match-high 15 kills in the final set while Brahmer and Taya Beller each had three kills.
Wayne State (28-1) hit .336 for the night in posting their 21st straight win. Brahmer finished with 12 kills in becoming the 21st Wildcat to reach the 1,000-kill plateau. Robles added nine kills and Beller had eight. Senior setter Rachel Walker, who missed Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle, showed no effects of the injury as she picked up 39 set assists and added 10 digs for her 11th double-double of the year.
Jordan McCormick led the defense with 13 blocks. Beller and Taylor Bunjer each had four blocks and Robles and Havyn Heinz both served up a pair of aces.
The Wildcats will host the semifinals and finals of the Northern Sun Conference tournament this weekend. Wayne State will battle fourth-seeded St. Cloud State in the first game at 4:30 p.m., with second-seed Concordia-St. Paul facing sixth seed Minnesota Duluth at 7 p.m. Saturday’s winners will play for the conference championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Rice Auditorium.