With the Mon-Dak title chase heating up, it was important for the North Dakota State College of Science volleyball team to take care of business against the lower teams in the conference. The Wildcats rose to the task Tuesday night at home with a 3-0 win over Dawson Community College, Mont.
“We’re supposed to win our home games. This is a conference game and we stayed focused the whole time,” NDSCS coach Jane Passa said. “It’s important to put away the teams you should beat. I think we played above their level today.”
In the first set, the Wildcats got off to a hot start, pushing around the visiting Buccaneers at the net. That dominance led to an easy 25-14 first set win.
The second set was much of the same, as the Cats jumped out to a 9-1 lead, and increased that advantage to as much as 11 points at 15-4. The versatile Katie Wangberg finished the set with a kill to give the Wildcats a 25-16 win. Wangberg finished with 10 kills and 18 assists, both team highs.
“She’s just an all-around player. When she stays focused and within herself, she can do amazing things,” Passa said of Wangberg.
Dawson put all of its energy into the final set, and it showed, as it hung right with NDSCS for a majority of the set. Thanks to a pair of authoritative kills from Kaylee Pender, Science held a small lead at 10-6, and pushed that advantage to 17-10 after a block from Baylee Wilson. But Dawson responded with a long rally to tie the set at 20-20. At that point, the Wildcats found the ways to make the plays, scoring the last five points to win 25-20.
Other stat leaders for NDSCS included nine kills each for Wilson and Pender, and 12 digs each from Shellina Irwin and Moriah Skroch.
NDSCS (19-5) has a quick turnaround, hosting Lake Region State College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.