A career day from Courtney Ysker wasn’t enough for the Vikings to defeat #21 Wayne State in five sets. The Wildcats dropped Augustana to 7-4, 1-2 in the NSIC while Wayne State moved to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the NSIC with their 25-19, 25-21, 20-25, 20-25, 15-13 victory.
The track record for the Vikings being down two sets to none was not in their favor, posting a 0-3 record this season when faced with that big of an uphill battle. The Vikings fought but weren't able to close this one out.
The Wildcats used a 7-1 run late in the first set to distance themselves from the Vikings and win the set 25-19. Augustana pulled within one at
16-17 but three straight attack errors for the Vikings plagued their chances of completing the comeback. Despite holding the Wildcats to a
.125 attack percentage, Augustana only swung at a .073 clip with 10 errors.
Once Augustana surrendered the lead after a Wayne State kill to fall behind 6-5, it was all Wildcats. The Vikings improved their attack percentage (.192) but so did Wayne State, hitting at .327 the second set. Augustana looked poised for a comeback but their three straight points weren’t enough and Wayne State closed the match at 19-25.
A neck-and-neck set from the start, neither team took a lead larger than two points until Augustana started to pull away after a 17-17 tie for the 25-20 set win. After the set break, head coach Ashley Buckley elected Katie Niesen to replace Marissa Johnson as the setter to spark the comeback. Holly Hafemeyer smashed two late kills and a Wayne State service error gave the Vikings the third set.
Augustana closed the fourth set on a 7-2 run and forced a fifth set by winning 25-20 in the fourth. A set that featured 12 tie scores and four lead changes, the fourth set was fought hard and four Hafemeyer kills paired with two from Ysker gave Augustana the lead for good.
Wayne State seemed in control for much of the fifth set, but Augustana fought back, including staving off a mach point but fell in the fifth set 15-13.
Ysker finished the night with 21 kills a career high and her 24 kills ties her previous best for her career. Hafemeyer finished with a season high 22 kills for both herself and the Vikings.
Jordan Spatenka finished with 18 kills and Niesen dished out a career-high 34 assists after the setter switch was made.
Augustana hits the road this weekend beginning with Bemidji State at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
Courtesy: Eric Zahn, Augustana