#3 Concordia-St. Paul came to Rice Auditorium and proved their ranking, sweeping the Wildcats in three sets. The defending national champions move to 10-2 on the year, with a 4-0 mark in the NSIC. The Wildcats are now 9-3, falling to 2-2 in conference play.
After an early 4-1 deficit, the Wildcats rallied and took a 7-5 lead in the first set. They would hold that lead long into it, extending their advantage as much as 18-15. Five straight points from the Golden Bears shifted the edge in favor of Concordia-St. Paul, but the Wildcats clawed a lead back to 21-20 from the service of Haley Kauth. The momentum wouldn’t be enough, as the Golden Bears’ 5-1 spurt was enough to take a 1-0 advantage into the second set.
Concordia got out to an early lead in the second set, sustaining a lead that increased to as much as 15-9. A 9-2 run behind seven errors from the Golden Bears as well as an Alyssa Ballenger kill and ace gave the Cats life as the advantage turned in the favor of Wayne State.
Concordia-St. Paul regained the lead after a 4-0 run that forced head coach Scott Kneifl into a timeout. The Golden Bears outscored the Wildcats the rest of the way 4-3 to take a 25-21, 2-0 lead into intermission.
The third set proved to be all Concordia-St. Paul. The Wildcats had no answer for their attack, as the Golden Bears got out to a 14-3 run that sucked the energy out of the game. Concordia-St. Paul hit .438 on their way to a 25-10 victory to sweep the Wildcats.
Concordia-St. Paul hit .313 while Wayne State hit .174. The Golden Bears had a wide advantage in kills, 43-27, while recording 11 aces to the Wildcat’s three.
Katie Stephens led Wayne State with nine kills, while Jaci Brahmer ended with five kills and Ballenger four. Megan Gebhardt and Brahmer shared a game-high four blocks, while Gebhardt provided 24 assists. Ballenger finished as the only Wildcat with double-digit assists with 10.
Wayne State looks to avenge their loss Saturday afternoon in a 1 p.m. NSIC contest against Minnesota State.