MARSHALL, MN – When Wayne State College last met Southwest Minnesota State, both teams were ranked inside the Top 25. Tuesday evening saw SMSU ranked #7 hosting an unranked Wildcat team.
Then #19 WSC dropped a five-set NSIC battle hosting the seventh-ranked Mustangs earlier this season.
Tuesday night also opened the 2018 NSIC Volleyball Tournament where #3 Southwest Minnesota State entertained #6 Wayne State College.
Scores of the match favored SMSU (25-17, 28-26 and 25-21) to improve to 22-7 overall as the ‘Cats close out their season with a 22-9 record.
Alyssa Ballenger finished with 11 kills, followed by six kills from Maddie Knobbe and Jaci Brahmer added five kills. Megan Gebhardt picked up a double-double with 19 set assists and 12 digs while Haley Kauth closed with 20 digs. Carter Hope tallied 10 digs.
SMSU outhit WSC .205 to .095 and won both the block battle (9-8) and recorded three service aces compared to one from Wayne State College.
Other first round NSIC volleyball scores:
#1 Minnesota Duluth won in four sets over #8 Upper Iowa.; #2 Northern State won in five-sets #7 Minnesota State-Mankato and #5 Sioux Falls won in four sets over #4 Concordia-St. Paul.
Semifinal games are scheduled for Friday, November 9 in Duluth, MN with Saturday’s NSIC Championship match allowing the winner to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The NCAA Volleyball selection show will be streamed online on Sunday, November 11 at 9 p.m. on NCAA.com.
From Duluth, Minnesota, #2 Northern State will take on #3 SMSU at 5:30 p.m. Friday followed by the host #1 Minnesota Duluth vs. #5 USF at 7:30 p.m.