Upper Iowa rallies for five-set upset of No. 20 Wildcats

Upper Iowa rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat 20th ranked Wayne State College 23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-9, 15-12 in NSIC volleyball action Friday at Rice Auditorium in Wayne.

Wayne State came out hitting very well, posting 18 kills and a .390 attack percentage in the first set while holding off a late Upper Iowa rally. Erin Gross posted seven kills with Jaci Brahmer adding six for the Wildcats.

The second set featured six ties, but Wayne State used seven kills from Brahmer and a .415 team attack percentage in the set with 18 kills and just one error to hold off the Peacocks and take the 2-0 advantage.

The third set saw the two teams exchange nine ties and four lead changes, but Upper Iowa pulled away late while holding the Wildcats to just a .100 attack percentage with seven errors. The Peacocks continued their hot hitting in the fourth set, posting a .343 attack percentage while forcing Wayne State into six attack errors and a .051 attack percentage to force the deciding state.

Upper Iowa took an early 6-3 lead in the fifth set to force a Wildcat timeout. Wayne State got as close as one several times with the last one at 11-10 following an Erin Gross kill, but the Peacocks used a Wildcat service error followed by an ace to take a 13-10 lead and go on to complete the comeback and post the five-set win.

Brahmer ended the night with a career-high 21 kills on a .543 attack percentage to lead the Wildcats.  Gross followed with 19 kills and Katie Stephens had 12 along with 16 digs for her fifth double-double of the year. Megan Gebhardt also had a double-double with 56 set assists and 12 digs. Haley Kauth had 17 digs while senior Bree Ackermann accounted for 11.

The Wildcats (15-9, 8-6 NSIC) will be at home again Saturday, hosting No. 17 Winona State in a 4 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.

The Wayne Herald

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