Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Men’s volleyball stays unbeaten

UW Oshkosh Division I men’s volleyball team dominated the Midwest Ten Conference Play Date on Feb. 4, winning all six matches.

The Titans swept every single match against UW-Milwaukee (25-12, 25-18), Iowa State (25-22, 25-17), DePaul (25-15, 25-17), Notre Dame (25-16, 25-22), Illinois State (25-8, 25-19) and Marquette (26-24, 25-20).

In the first match against UW-Milwaukee, senior Wesley Morioka recorded three blocks and seniors Tony Mack and Peter Nordel stole the show with ten combined kills. UWO totaled 25 kills to cruise past the Panthers. Sophomore Jake Martin added seven digs to the impressive performance by the Titans.

Senior Travis Hudson compiled 18 assists against Iowa State including six digs and four blocks. Senior Sammy Pedersen provided six kills and five digs, and Senior Sam Moua had four digs.

Sophomore Devin Hudson led UWO to six kills in a win over DePaul University. The Titans had six players with three or more kills. Sophomore Tony D’Acquisto added three blocks.

Head coach Brian Schaefer was a member himself when UWO won the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association D-II Championship in 1996. In his time as the head coach of a dynasty, he has guided the Titans to a magnificent 776-161-5 record.

He has coached UWO to 11 Wisconsin Volleyball Conference State Championships D-I regular season titles, including the last eight (2009-2016) and seven WVCs. The Titans also won 13 straight Midwest Ten Conference championships from 2003-2015.

Schaefer said he was happy to get several different players into the action to spread experience all over the roster.

“The day was meant as a measuring stick on how we were doing as a team,” Schaefer said. “We were able to insert many different line-ups and the guys played focus, hard-nosed volleyball no matter what the line-up, They played very well today.”

Pedersen led UWO with 28 total kills and five service aces along with 16 digs for the day. UWO had sensational performances from Nordel, who applied 14 blocks and hit .529 on 22 kills. Hudson supplied 25 kills and nine blocks.

Schaefer said he was impressed with Pedersen’s extraordinary performance.

“Pedersen really shined today,” Schaefer said. “After being in a reserve role last year he has really improved his overall game. He works very hard and has tremendous athletic ability. We have a very talented team from top to bottom and it was nice to see each team member supporting each other throughout the day.”

The Titans are no strangers to club volleyball success. Year after year they compete and win matches against some of the largest colleges and universities in the country. UWO has taken nine conference titles since 2005. They finished second in three of those seasons.

The team has won the last three National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Division I national championships. The NCFV is a nonprofit corporation with collegiate club volleyball commissioners and representatives throughout the United States.

The goal of the organization is to promote club volleyball opportunities for men and women. Last season over 700 clubs registered with NCVF with over 425 teams participating in the NCVF National Championship Tournament.

Assistant coach Tim Weis has been a part of UWO club volleyball since 2001, where he played for four seasons. Weis said it has amazed him where the program has gone since started coaching a perennial powerhouse.

“To witness the success over the years, to have met the people that I have, and to be a part of this run (3 national championships in a row) is difficult to describe to anyone that isn’t familiar with what Lumpy [Schaefer] and the program has accomplished,” Weis said. “It’s simply amazing.”

Martin said he enjoys the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than most people may think when it comes to this organization.

“This last weekend was my first tournament playing at the Division I level,” Martin said. “As a sophomore, it was a great experience for me to be a part of. I believe my team has done an exceptional job throughout the season so far and we have high hopes for taking home another national championship for the fourth year in a row.”

Martin said playing schools with larger enrollments makes participating in UWO club volleyball an exciting challenge.

“Sometimes we play huge Division I schools, such as Penn State, University of Arizona, etc., and it can prove to be a huge challenge for us,” Martin said. “These schools have 50,000+ students to choose from to create their teams, so they can be very competitive.”

Weis said competition the Titans have faced has given UWO a national interest.

“The feeling of competing against high-profiles universities never gets old,” Weis said. “We are the only Division III school that is ranked at the Division I level for collegiate club volleyball. For all of these schools that we compete against, our program pretty much has put Oshkosh, WI on the map.”

Despite a long history of success spanning the last couple decades, Weis said the team is never satisfied and is always setting new goals.

“In order to be consistent every year, we’ve had guys committed to our goals and to be playing at their best when the time is right,” Weis said. “That can’t be done without the players understanding the season-long process of teamwork and improving every day in practice. It’s not easy, but the guys understand the hard work is worth it in the end.”

Martin said the team uses past success as motivation.

“The second we get comfortable with where we are at is the second that another team will come out and beat us,” Martin said. “Just because we are a club sport does not make the competition any less competitive than a NCAA sport.”

UWO will head to the Midwest Ten Championship at the University of Illinois on Feb. 19.

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