Men’s volleyball takes first place at Marquette University

Brady Van Deurzen

The UW Oshkosh men’s volleyball team traveled to Marquette University this past weekend to compete in both the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Tournament and regular season matches. The Titans finished the tournament with a narrow victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles in a final score of 17-25, 25-14, 15-7. By beating Marquette, UWO clinched the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Title for its eighth consecutive year. The Titans improved its record to 47-4 with the win over the Eagles. Coach Brian Schaefer said he could not be happier with the way his team played. “It was another great weekend for the Titans and we are on a roll heading into the national championship this upcoming weekend in Louisville as we try and three-peat,” Schaefer said. “In the finals we started off slow, but picked up our game to take the match against Marquette University. It was a long weekend, but when asked to lay it all on the line again the team responded and took home the championship.” Before the Marquette game, UWO played the UW-Whitewater Warhawks for both tournament and regular-season play. UW Oshkosh won big with scores of 25-20 and 25-18. The win over Whitewater was the Titans’ third victory against the Warhawks this season. Michigan Tech was the first team Oshkosh faced in the tournament, beating the Huskies 25-17 and 25-16. For conference play, the Titans defeated both Winona State University 25-14 and 25-12 and UW-Eau Claire 24-26, 25-17, 15-9. Travis Hudson, a senior setter for the Titans, believes the win against the Eau Claire Bluegolds was much harder than most believed it to be. “We had to play every game to our full capability,” Hudson said. “Playing down or not playing our best gives teams the opportunity to capitalize against us. So we needed to minimize all possibilities by playing our best.” The second matchup of the tournament for Oshkosh was against the UW-Stout Blue Devils. The Titans’ previous matchup with the Blue Devils this season occurred on February 13 when they beat Stout in three matches. UW Oshkosh came out swinging on Friday as well. The Titans hit .643 as a team and finished the Blue Devils off in two games, 25-10 and 25-6. Alec Redlich led the Titans with seven kills on nine attempts. Oshkosh faced UW-La Crosse in their first game at Marquette. The team beat the Eagles 25-16 and 25-18. Major contributors were Eaven Mason and Redlich, who each recorded six kills, and Allen Grunert who added five more. Although Oshkosh successfully routed UW-La Crosse, Grunert believes the Titans still had room to improve. “I think we played fairly well,” Grunert said. “We had a few minor things to touch up on, but overall, I think we were in good shape.” Up next for the Titans is the National Championship in Louisville from April 7-9. Hudson said he is making sure his team is preparing properly. “We’ve spent the past weeks telling them what it’s like, what to expect and how things go down,” Hudson said. “Talking and partaking are totally different things, so when we get there it’ll be something we address as the days go on because it’s hard to simulate the way our new guys will take and handle the atmosphere that is nationals in an Oshkosh jersey.” Hudson went on to add that his team will not just be ready to handle the atmosphere; they will be able to handle the injury situation as well. “Health-wise we are doing everything we can to be able to play and play full out all three days of nationals,” Hudson said. “I believe we will have enough talent all around. Most guys can play multiple positions if needed, so we can cover every area needed.”