No. 4 Wildcats fall to No. 14 Augie


Fourth-ranked Wayne State took the first set, but No. 14 Augustana rallied to post a four-set win on Tuesday in Sioux Falls, S.D., taking the NSIC matchup 22-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-20.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start, taking a 5-0 lead on the Vikings following a service ace from senior Michaela Mestl.  But the Vikings rallied and took a 15-12 lead to force a Wildcat timeout. Wayne State responded and regained the lead at 18-17 on a Bree Ackermann service ace. Augustana came back to knot the score at 22-22, but the Wildcats used kills from Mestl and Erin Gross for a 24-22 lead and the Wildcats went on to take the first set.
The Vikings secured momentum for the rest of the match in the second set by controlling the Wildcats, taking a 10-4 lead early in the set that led to a convincing 25-11 set win. The third set saw the host Vikings jump out to a 7-2 lead and never let Wayne State get any closer than four points. Wayne State battled the Vikings in the fourth set with eight ties and five lead changes, but Augustana rallied from an 18-16 deficit in the set to score nine of the final 11 points to take the match.
Michaela Mestl recorded her fifth double-double of the year with 13 kills and 21 digs to lead Wayne State. Alyssa Frauendorfer added 11 kills followed by Natalie Vondrak with 10. Libero Haley Kauth was credited with 19 digs followed by Megan Gebhardt with 12 to go with 38 set assists. Alex Opperman had four blocks with Erin Gross and Vondrak each adding three.
Wayne State (9-2, 1-2 NSIC) visits MSU Moorhead Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 11 Northern State Saturday in a 6 p.m. contest.