Wildcats fall in five-set finals thriller


DENVER, Colo. — The fourth-ranked Wayne State volleyball team took down three ranked teams before falling to a familiar foe in the finals of the Colorado Premier Challenge.

Second-ranked Concordia-St. Paul had to withstand a two-set comeback by the Wildcats before handing Wayne State its first loss of the season Saturday evening, posting a 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 21-25 15-7 win.

The Golden Bears used a 7-3 run to break a 9-9 tie in the opening set to take control of the first game, then went on a 10-2 run to break a 10-10 tie and take the 2-0 match advantage.

Concordia was leading 7-3 in the third when the Wildcats mounted their comeback. A 7-1 run gave Wayne State a 10-8 lead and the two teams battled from there before the Wildcats, led by Kelsie Cada’s seven kills, rallied for the third-set victory.

In the fourth set, Cada helped get things started with three kills to kick-start a 5-0 run. Concordia would battle back to tie the game at 17-17 before a 3-1 Wayne State run gave them the lead and set the stage for the exciting fifth set.

Wayne State was as close as 6-5 before a 4-1 run gave the Golden Bears the advantage for good. Wayne State couldn’t get closer than six points after that as CSP went on to defeat the Wildcats.

Cada finished the match with 19 kills while Maggie Brahmer added 16 and Taya Beller had 12. Jordan McCormick led the defense with 11 digs, and Rachel Walker recorded 43 assists.

Walker, Beller, Cada and Brahmer were each named to the all-tournament team.