WAYNE – A top five NCAA Division II volleyball team in the country is preparing for their final 11 NSIC opponents with a handful being ranked matchups as #5 WSC closed out their non-conference schedule Tuesday evening.
From Rice Auditorium on the campus of Wayne State College, the fifth ranked Wildcats hosted the Mount Marty University Lancers from Yankton, South Dakota being an exhibition game for Mount Marty.
The Wildcats took care of business on the home court and are now 6-0 at Rice Auditorium with their 14th 3-0 sweep being 25-15, 25-13, 25-16. WSC improved to 15-2 overall, won their eighth straight match of the season and finished off their non-conference schedule at 7-1 as the match was an exhibition outing for Mount Marty.
Head coach Scott Kneifl is in his 17th season leading WSC said the team did some nice things Tuesday night.
“It’s hard when your playing an opponent that isn’t in our league,” said Kneifl. “The tempo was a little different and they did some nice things. They hit some nice shots and got us of system and served really aggressive. It’s one of those things where you just have to adjust mid-match and I feel like our girls did a good job of that.”
Freshman Jazlin DeHaan recorded a team-high 10 kills to go along with two blocks (one solo) and a dig followed by redshirt freshman Taya Beller with eight kills and two blocks as sophomore Kelsie Cada added seven kills, three blocks and nine digs. Freshman Alaina Wolff posted nine digs; redshirt freshman Maggie Brahmer had six kills, three blocks and a dig; sophomore Elly Larson tallied two kills and a dig as freshman Isabelle Vacek had a kill. Other digs came from sophomore Jordan McCormick (four); sophomore Jessie Brandl (two) and junior Lauren Jacobsen (one).
Two-time NSIC Setter of the Week this season sophomore Rachel Walker has been enjoying playing with her teammates and added the upcoming weekend matches are just two big games.
“Now having that year off and coming back this year it’s so awesome to have that back and to be able to play volleyball with my best friends, it’s the best thing ever.”
“Any games in our conference are big games, so it’s just fun to be on the road and get to compete because we didn’t get to compete last year, so anytime that we get a chance to compete is awesome.”
Walker recorded 28 set assists Tuesday evening to go along with six digs, a kill and three blocks (one solo).
Coach Kneifl also mentioned Walker does a fabulous job.
“We’re giving her a lot of feedback, obviously, because we want her to be great,” Kneifl mentioned. “She knows what’s going on our there for the most part. There are times when we want to help her out as much as we can from what we see from the sideline.”
The Wildcats finished with 11 service aces being led by Cada with four, Wolff had three, Brandl with two as McCormick and Jacobsen both added an ace.
WSC outhit Mount Marty, .325 to .044.
“We just have to keep grinding it out,” said. “You know our kids seem to step up to the level of the competition whoever they are playing and hopefully this weakened it’s the same case.”
#5 Wayne State College (8-1 NSIC) will next visit #7 Concordia-St. Paul (15-3/9-0 NSIC) on Friday, October 15 at 6 p.m. before closing out the road weekend at Minnesota State-Mankato (10-7/5-4) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Mount Marty is currently 7-13 overall and 1-9 in the GPAC and will next visit Dordt University on Friday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m.