Third-ranked Wayne State avenged last Saturday’s five-set loss to Concordia-St. Paul in the finals of the Colorado Premier Challenge in impressive fashion, posting a 25-19, 28-26, 25-21 win in the Northern Sun Conference opener for both teams Friday at Rice Auditorium.
Wayne State never trailed in the first set, getting out to a 4-0 lead early and leading by as many as four before the Golden Bears rallied to tie the set at 13-13.
Kills by Maggie Brahmer, Taya Beller and Rachel Walker broke the 13-13 tie. Concordia got back to within a point before a 4-0 run helped Wayne State put the first set to bed, hitting .333 in the opening set while forcing 11 Golden Bear attack miscues.
The second set was back and forth with nine ties and five lead changes. Wayne State led by as many as five at 18-13 before Concordia rallied and had set point at 24-22. A service error by Concordia and an ace serve by Walker tied the match at 24-24, and Wayne State escaped another set point and got kills from Brahmer and Channatee Robles to give Wayne State the two-set advantage.
The two teams were tied at 11-11 in the third when Wayne State rolled off four straight points to take the lead for good. Kills by Robles and Taylor Bunjer and a pair of combination blocks by Bunjer and Bellar fueled the key rally.
Wayne State hit .254 in the win while holding CSP to a .162 attack percentage. CSP did register 50 kills to 37 by WSC, but the Wildcats forced 27 attack errors on the Golden Bears and held an 11-2 edge in blocks.
Beller paced Wayne State in hitting with 13 kills. Cada and Brahmer each added seven kills with Robles finishing with six. Beller had six blocks with Bunjer adding five. Senior libero Jordan McCormick had a team-high 16 digs with Cada adding 14 and Walker recorded her sixth double-double of the year with 31 assists and 12 digs.
The Wildcats (8-1, 1-0 NSIC) are home Tuesday evening hosting Chadron State in a 6 p.m. non-conference tilt in Rice Auditorium.
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