Volleyball goes 1-1, sits at 6-3 heading into conference play

UW+Oshkosh+sophomore+Becky+Brezen+%2821%29+passes+a+ball+against+Oswego+State+while+senior+Sam+Jaeke+%2811%29+and+freshman+Kate+Nottoli+%2818%29+set+up+to+receive+the+pass.+The+Titans+won+the+match+3-0.+
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Volleyball goes 1-1, sits at 6-3 heading into conference play

UW Oshkosh sophomore Becky Brezen (21) passes a ball against Oswego State while senior Sam Jaeke (11) and freshman Kate Nottoli (18) set up to receive the pass. The Titans won the match 3-0.

UW Oshkosh sophomore Becky Brezen (21) passes a ball against Oswego State while senior Sam Jaeke (11) and freshman Kate Nottoli (18) set up to receive the pass. The Titans won the match 3-0.

UW Oshkosh Photoshelter

UW Oshkosh sophomore Becky Brezen (21) passes a ball against Oswego State while senior Sam Jaeke (11) and freshman Kate Nottoli (18) set up to receive the pass. The Titans won the match 3-0.

UW Oshkosh Photoshelter

UW Oshkosh Photoshelter

UW Oshkosh sophomore Becky Brezen (21) passes a ball against Oswego State while senior Sam Jaeke (11) and freshman Kate Nottoli (18) set up to receive the pass. The Titans won the match 3-0.

Neal Hogden, Head Sports Editor

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The UW Oshkosh volleyball team carries a 6-3 record heading into the team’s conference opener against La Crosse on Wednesday.

The Titans took down Lawrence University last Wednesday three sets to none before dropping three out of four sets to St. Norbert College.

UWO was led against Lawrence by freshman Rachel Aasby and senior Samantha Jaeke who had seven kills apiece. Emma Kiekhofer paced Oshkosh with 12 assists.

Jaeke and freshman Carissa Sundholm led the team with 11 and eight respective kills against St. Norbert.

Kiekhofer tallied 20 assists and Rebecca Doughty added 16 assists. Doughty said the team has the talent and mindset to go far this season.

“As a team we’ve set our expectations high for ourselves, and I think having a common goal has really helped us to achieve so much more this year,” Doughty said. “We also had a lot of talent come back for this season as well as a great freshman class.”

The team opened its conference schedule with a game against UW-La Crosse on Wednesday. Last season, UWO was shut out three sets to none in their regular season matchup against the Eagles.

The two teams’ conference tournament matchup was a different story however as the Titans battled La Crosse to a 3-1 victory.

Junior Shelby Coron said the team learned a lot from facing UW-La Crosse last year.

“I think our team learned a lot from both games,” Coron said. “Losing preconference gave us a little fire to work even harder when we saw them next, and has us excited to play them again.”

After facing La Crosse, the Titans will enjoy a busy Friday and Saturday in Stevens Point and Madison facing off against four non conference opponents.

Doughty said the team embraces the challenge of playing four games in two days.

“It’s never easy to play four games in one weekend, but having all of these games so close together really gives us a great opportunity to showcase how much we have improved since last year,” Doughty said. “We’ve got a pretty solid block and some really dynamic hitters as well as some great back row defenders, so this weekend is going to be all about doing the things we do well and playing consistent volleyball.”

Head coach Jon Ellmann said the team has worked on some skills in practice and can use the weekend to work on those skills.

“We’ve spent a good amount of time on our first ball and transition offense,” Ellmann said. “We’ve also introduced a new defense and tweaked our blocking package. We will have a lot of opportunity to improve in those areas against some talented and well coached squads.”

The team will first be heading to Stevens Point on Saturday to take on the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. They will then spend Sunday at Edgewood College facing off against the Eagles and Wheaton College (Ill.).