Wildcats drop rare pair to end Colorado volleyball swing

It was a rare weekend of defeat for the No. 12 ranked Wayne State volleyball team as they dropped both matches in the second day of the Steel and Silver Classic in Colorado Springs, Colo., to finish a 2-2 weekend for the 12th ranked Wildcats.

Taylor Hamilton and Alyssa Brinton combined for 34 of UC-Colorado Springs’ 55 kills to lead the Mountain Lions in a 25-20, 25-19 and 29-27 upset over Wayne State.

The first set saw a close battle early, but UCCS scored scored five straight points to erase a 15-13 Wildcat lead and Wayne State never got closer than two points the rest of the set.\

A similar fate played out for the Wildcats in the second set. With UCCS holding a 16-15 lead, the host Mountain Lions scored seven of the next eight points for a 23-16 lead and went on to take the 2-0 advantage. The third set saw WSC lead for nearly the entire set only to find the Mountain Lions rally from a 24-19 deficit to complete the sweep with a 29-27 set win.

Erin Gross had nine kills to lead Wayne State in hitting followed by Katie Stephens with seven. Hope Carter paced the Wildcat back row with 12 digs with Haley Kauth adding 11. Megan Gebhardt was credited with 27 set assists.

In the second match of the day, 22nd ranked Colorado Mines used a double-double from Janice Jin to help take down the Wildcats in four sets, 16-25, 25-22, 25-17 and 25-22.

The first set saw the Wildcats pull away late to earn a 25-16 win as Wayne State used 12 kills with a .323 hitting percentage. The second set was close until the midway point when the Orediggers pulled away late for a 25-22 win.  CM had a match-high 21 kills in the set.

The third set saw Wayne State race out to an early 7-4 lead before Colorado Mines scored the next five points to take the lead for good at 9-7. They held Wayne State to six kills in the third set, and the Orediggers held off a fourth-set rally by Wayne State to take the match.

Gross had nine kills to lead the Wildcats in hitting followed by Jaci Brahmer and Stephens tied with eight.  Kauth led the Wildcats with 18 digs with Stephens adding 10. Gebhardt added 30 set assists.

Wayne State (5-3) opens Northern Sun Conference play at home Thursday evening, hosting the University of Sioux Falls in a 6 p.m. match in Rice Auditorium.

The Wayne Herald

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