UWO Volleyball loses to UW-Eau Claire

Shelby Howe, Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh volleyball lost to UW-Eau Claire on Friday, Sept. 28 in Kolf Sports Center. The Blugolds defeated the Titans with set scores of 25-18, 25-13 and 25-18. UWO has lost two of the last five meetings with UW-Eau Claire.

The Titans kept up with the Blugolds in the first set until the Blugolds led 16-9. A kill from junior Samantha Jaeke pulled the Titans within 19-18, but the Blugolds snatched the last six points of the set with back-to-back kills from UW-Eau Claire’s Madelyn Pashibin.

In the second set, the Titans couldn’t catch up to the Blugolds 20-8 lead, which led to the set win.

The third set was almost tied at 13-12 for the Titans, but was ultimately lost after the Blugolds set up a 18-12 advantage and led of the rest of the set.

Sophomore Rebecca Doughty and freshman Emma Kiekhofer had 15 and 12 assists, respectively for UWO. Freshman Taylor Allen and senior Carly Lemke each had seven kills apiece, while junior Rachel Gardner continues to lead the team in digs with 13 during the UW-Eau Claire game.

Gardner said she focuses on each moment in order to make each set the best it can be.

“The main thing I do that leads to success is that in each moment I try to improve on the littlest things; whether it is taking pace off of the ball, getting to my line or getting the ball to target with each dig I try to better what I do for the next one,” Gardner said.

Head coach Jon Ellmann said despite the loss, the team has shown constant improvement since the beginning of the season.

“There are a lot of aspects to each match,” Ellmann said. “We want to improve in all phases. There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t try to get better at everything that we do.”
The loss dropped UWO to 9-9 on the season and 0-3 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings with four conference games to go before the WIAC championship starting Oct. 30.
This was the Titans sixth 3-0 loss already this season after having only six all of last year.

UWO also suffered a 3-0 setback at UW-Whitewater on Wednesday Sept. 26 and continues a stretch of three consecutive matches against nationally ranked teams next Friday, Oct. 5 at eighth-ranked Washington University in St. Louis.

That game will be a part of the WashU Invitational where UW Oshkosh will also face Augustana College (Ill.) and Colorado College during the weekend.