WAYNE, Neb. – After finding themselves in an early 2-0 hole, the Winona State volleyball team clawed all the way back to earn a 3-2 upset victory over No. 18 Wayne State Friday in the team’s NSIC opener.
Wayne State won the first two sets with matching 25-22 scores, putting the Warriors on the ropes early. Winona State responded with a 25-22 win in the third set to stay alive and then evened the match with a 25-23 win in the fourth.
Winona State put the match away with a 15-13 victory in the fifth set, coming all the way back to claim their third win over a ranked team in the last two seasons. Tied at 13 in the final set, Warrior junior Katie Froehle recorded a kill to put WSU on top that was followed by a service ace by Bekah Saugen to complete the Warrior win.
The victory is the second consecutive season the Warriors have knocked off a ranked Wayne State squad, with the team beating the tenth-ranked Wildcats last season.
Both Saugen and Froehle recorded double-doubles for the Warriors, with Saugen leading the team with 16 kills and collecting 18 digs. Froehle had 14 kills while making 17 digs in the match. Kathy Lohff added 13 kills while hitting .333 while Kate Horihan netted ten kills and a hitting percentage of .316.
Maggie Finkel led the Warrior defense with 41 digs, the third most in a match in program history and a career-high for the senior.
The Winona State defense was strong again, recording ten total blocks. Lohff led the Warriors with six total blocks while Alli Glisch and Horhan each had four block assists.
Winona State is now 9-2 overall on the season and has won its last eight matches. The Warriors will continue their opening weekend of conference play Saturday at Augustana. The match is scheduled to begin at 5:30 pm.