Eighth-ranked Wayne State used a balanced attack with four players recording double digit figures in kills as the Wildcats gave coach Scott Kneifl his 300th career win with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-18 win over University of Mary Saturday in Bismarck, N.D.
Wayne State hit .328 in the match and limited Mary to a .211 hitting clip in giving Kneifl his 300th win, making him 300-101 in 12 years as the Wildcats’ head coach.
The Wildcats posted a .545 attack percentage in the first set with 13 kills, five coming by freshman Tarrin Beller. Mary responded with a strong second set, using 18 kills and a .516 hitting percentage to tie the match.
Wayne State turned it up defensively in the third set, forcing seven Marauder attack errors, while freshman Haley Kauth produced two service aces to lead the Wildcats to the third-set win. Senior Michaela Mestl had the hot hand for the Wildcats in the final set with a team-high six kills to go with a service ace, as the Wildcats finished off the Marauders.
Erin Gross led a balanced Wildcat hitting attack with 14 kills, followed by Mestl and Alyssa Frauendorfer with 13 kills apiece and Beller with 10. Mestl also had a team-high 18 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Kauth was credited with 16 digs while Megan Gebhardt handed out 49 set assists. Gross and Alex Opperman each recorded five blocks for the Wildcats while Kauth had two service aces.
The Wildcats (21-6, 12-6 NSIC) close out the regular season at home next weekend hosting MSU Moorhead Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 14 Northern State Saturday in a 2 p.m. contest in Rice Auditorium.