BEMIDJI, Minn. — Wayne State College, topping the NCAA DII 2023 AVCA/TARAFLEX latest rankings, clinched their second consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) volleyball regular season championship with a commanding (25-12, 25-14, 25-18) sweep over Bemidji State on Saturday at the BSU Gymnasium.
The Wildcats, the form team of the division this season, extended their winning streak to 19 games, underlining their dominance in the league.
The victory propels Wayne State to an impressive 26-1 overall record and a flawless 17-0 in NSIC action. Their sole loss of the season was dealt by then-No. 2 Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 9, nearly two months ago.
Senior outside hitter Kelsie Cada, hailing from Wahoo, Neb., spearheaded the Wildcats’ attack with 13 kills, complemented by seven digs and two service aces. Maggie Brahmer contributed eight kills, while Taya Beller added seven kills and five digs, with the team restricting Bemidji State to under 20 points in each set.
Rachel Walker, a senior from Lincoln, Neb., orchestrated the offense with 30 assists and added four digs. Jordan McCormick, from Omaha, Neb., led the defensive efforts with a team-high 12 digs.
Channatee Robles stood out with six kills and accounted for nearly half of Wayne State’s 11 service aces.
On the other side, Bemidji State’s record fell to 8-16 overall and 5-11 in conference play following the defeat.
Emily Wade led the Beavers with 24 assists, while Hallie Mertz and Rylie Bjerklie each contributed nine kills. Lauren Justesen tallied 16 digs in the effort.
Wayne State showcased offensive prowess, posting a .341 hitting percentage with 35 kills and 33 assists, committing a mere six errors on 85 total attacks.
In stark contrast, Bemidji State managed only a .084 hitting percentage. The Wildcats also dominated the service game with a season-high 11 aces and outperformed the Beavers in blocks, 6-2.
Wayne State will conclude the regular season with a high-profile matchup at home against the No. 9-ranked St. Cloud State, setting the stage for a high-stakes finale at Rice Auditorium on Saturday afternoon.