UWO earns two wins over ranked foes

Men’s club volleyball gets one step closer to a 30-win season.

Shelby Howe, Sports Writer

Since March 16, the UW Oshkosh men’s club volleyball team has won eight of its last 10 matches, including strong showings in Las Vegas and at Michigan State University tournaments. Most recently, the team traveled to Eau Claire to face off against the Blugolds in an exciting match.

UWO defeated UW-Eau Claire in three out of five exciting matches that took place last Tuesday in Eau Claire. The Titans earned a hard-fought victory in five sets, being pushed to the brink but holding tough against the Blugolds.

In the two games Oshkosh played against UW-Eau Claire and one game against UW-Whitewater, UWO was pushed to three sets. Oshkosh came out with victories in all three of those games and are the only games that have gone that far for the Titans.

Senior defensive specialist Samuel Moua said he has confidence the team will succeed at the upcoming tournaments, citing the team’s strong traditions.

“Our best volleyball has yet to come and we’ll showcase that at nationals and on the big stage when it matters the most,” Moua said. “I believe we can win [WVC] championship number 11 for the program overall, and [WVC] championship number seven for Division I.”

Moua said the pressure intensifies as the season goes on.

“It’s one big tournament after another, and that leads you into nationals, and that’s what everyone plays for and strives to be playing their best volleyball towards the end of the season.”

In the MIVA Championship on March 24-25th at MSU, the team captured four wins and one loss. The Titans earned victories against the University of Iowa in two matches, then both the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University in three matches and Western Michigan University in two. Even with the team losing to UW-Madison in three matches to round out the tournament, head coach Will Brydon was not disappointed with the team’s results at the event.

“To play in and win two of three close matches all decided by two points shows the team’s commitment to never giving up and pushing themselves to play their best against top quality opponents,” said Brydon.

On the weekend of March 16 and 17, the team traveled for the Las Vegas Open and earned four victories in five matches, winning its first four. The team will participate in the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Championship at the Milwaukee Sting Center on April 6 and 7.

Junior left side hitter Alex Basting said the team is looking to face off against two respected rivals in the upcoming state championship tournament.

“At the WVC state championship, we are looking forward to playing two nationally ranked teams (Marquette and UW-Whitewater),” Basting said. “We should have some great competition and are looking to get revenge against Marquette who stole the state title from us last year.”

The National Collegiate Volleyball Federation (NCVF) national championship tournament will take place in St. Louis on April 12-14, and Brydon said he is looking for the team to thrive in the season-ending tournament, where he hopes the team plays its best.

“I am looking forward to seeing the team make the most of our last matches before the NCVF National Championship and hopefully reclaiming a WVC State Championship title,” Brydon said. “Wisconsin is home to some great teams, and we need to play our best to make sure we are peaking at the right time.”