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

Volleyball gets swept at home

[/media-credit] “As junior No. 14 Morgan Windau prepares for the deflection, sophomore No. 11 Samantha Jaeke and freshman No. 1 Shelby Coron go up for the block against UW-La Crosse. The Titans fell in three sets to the Eagles, 23-25, 22-25 and 17-25.
[/media-credit] “Sophomore outside hitter No. 7 Alyssa Wolslegel looks to return the ball at home against UW-La Crosse on Sept. 20.

The UW Oshkosh volleyball team fell to UW-La Crosse on Wednesday. The Titans were swept by the Eagles in three sets, 23-25, 22-25, and 17-25.

Oshkosh has been looking forward to this match after being handed two losses by La Crosse last year, and the team took time off to prepare.

Sophomore Rachel Gardner said the team has been working on a surprise for La Crosse.

“Some things [the team worked on] would be our new defense, [including] our right fire defense and some off blocker transitioning so we get enough depth with our pin hitters,” Gardner said. “So, if we’re not in system every play, we can still use our pin hitters, and run a good offense.”

The Eagles came out in the first set with the first points of the game, getting up by two right away. However, Oshkosh quickly came back to lead 3-2 with help from a block and a La Crosse error. The set was a back and forth battle between the two teams, with Oshkosh taking a one-point lead and La Crosse quickly tying the score.

An Oshkosh error gave the Eagles the lead at 8-9. La Crosse capitalized on this and quickly bumped the score to 8-10 with a block. The Titans were not completely subdued though and came back with a block to make the score 9-10.

Once again the Titans were in a close battle, but were able to take back the lead. It wasn’t long however, before the Eagles caught up and took the lead at 18-19. Oshkosh tied the score again at 19-19, but La Crosse pulled out ahead and forced the Titans to take a timeout with the score at 19-22.

Coming out of the time out, La Crosse handed the Titans a point with a service error, but quickly took it back. Junior Kristina Elstner had a tip to bring the score to 21-23, but it was not enough to bring the Titans out ahead.

Sophomore Samantha Jaeke said the team has areas of improvement to build upon, both through victories and defeats.

“I think [the team can] just fundamentally work harder in the gym,” Jaeke said. “We do more technique, more positional stuff to work on things that we need to better ourselves in our certain positions.”

The second set started strong for the Titans after an error to make the score 0-1. They went on a scoring streak, gaining momentum aided by a kill by Jaeke, a kill by sophomore Alyssa Wolslegel and an ace by Elstner, bringing the score to 7-1 and a timeout by La Crosse.

After the timeout, the Eagles found some of their own momentum, bringing the score to 9-6, but it couldn’t stop the Titans who soon led 14-7. After this point though, Oshkosh lost some of that momentum and soon the score was tied 19-19. From here La Crosse took control, and though the Titans were able to score a few more points off of Eagle errors, it once again was not enough.

The third set saw La Crosse come out with some aggression, taking the lead right away and keeping it the entire set. The Titans did their best to come back, but with 10 kills from La Crosse and numerous errors from Oshkosh, the team just couldn’t pull out a victory.

Gardner understands the importance of conference play, but said the team does not overlook non-conference opponents when looking ahead to achieving its goals.

“We still want to beat [out-of-conference foes] but winning conference is a huge goal of ours once again this year,” Gardner said. “We were back to back champions, so getting a three-peat would be awesome. So, going into conference games, we really put our time and energy into winning that conference title so we can hopefully get a bid into the national tournament again.”

UWO head coach Jon Ellmann said the team does not look too far toward upcoming matches, including the Barker Chevrolet Classic, and said the team focuses on the task at hand.

“We are a glass half-full kind of squad so we don’t see a lot of negatives associated with the upcoming event; all four matches will be extremely competitive,” Ellmann said. “We have a high level of respect for all of our opponents and look forward to challenges that lie ahead.”

Both Ellmann and the team understand how difficult their upcoming schedule is, but Ellmann said the challenge will not deter the team in achieving its season goals.

“The [Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference] is a tough conference, arguably one of the best in the country; our non-conference schedule is also extremely challenging this year,” Ellmann said. “We will play at least 10 teams that have or will be ranked in the top 25 (AVCA D3 Poll).”

Up next for the Titans is the Barket Chevrolet Classic, which will take place in Bloomington, Ill. on Friday and Saturday.

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