The grind never stops


Hannah Preissner

Junior Shelby Coron and freshman Carissa Sundholm leaped to block a La Crosse kill attempt on their game last Wednesday.

  1. The UW Oshkosh volleyball team defended its 11-3 record against UW-Platteville this Wednesday after an undefeated weekend in Stevens Point and Madison.

The Titans swept UW-La Crosse last Wednesday in the team’s WIAC home opener three sets to none as freshman Carissa Sundholm led the team with nine kills.

On Friday, UWO started the day by defeating 18th-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) three sets to two as the Titans picked up the first two sets before dropping the second two sets.

The Titans rallied to win the fifth set and their first game against a ranked opponent since Sept. 1, 2018, when they defeated nationally ranked Millikin University (Ill.) three sets to one.

Senior Samantha Jaeke said that she isn’t dwelling on the victory, and instead is focused on improving as a team.

“Beating St. Thomas was a thrill,” Jaeke said. “It does give us confidence moving forward, but there are still areas in the game that need improvement. The grind never stops.”

UWO continued their success by defeating Milwaukee School of Engineering in similar fashion, taking the first two sets before dropping the second two sets, then claiming the third set for the victory.

Heach coach Jon Ellmann said there was a lot to gain by winning these tightly contested games.

“We would have surely preferred to end each of those matches in three but regardless, we were excited and proud of the effort that it took to win those deciding fifth sets,” Ellmann said.

Jaeke led the Titans with a career-high 17 kills against St. Thomas and Sundholm led with a career-high 19 kills in the following game against MSOE.

Senior Rachel Gardner had a match-best 32 digs against St. Thomas and 14 against MSOE, while sophomore Emma Kiekhofer led the Titans with assist totals of 27 and 28 in the respective contests.

The Titans continued their success on Saturday as they swept both Wheaton College (Ill.) and Edgewood College earning the team wins in nine of their last ten games and an 11-3 record on the season.

Ellmann said that this success won’t distract the team or deter their effort going forward.

“We were excited about our performance last week,” Ellmann said. “That excitement ended Saturday night, however. We will carry forward the confidence that is rooted in the improvements that we showed over the course of the week, but this group is pretty driven to be even better.”

Jaeke continued to lead the team in kills with ten against Wheaton College and seven against Edgewood College. Kiekhofer racked up 24 assists and Gardner had 18 digs against Wheaton College, which was followed by Kiekhofer and junior Rebecca Doughty tying for the team-lead with 12 assists each against Edgewood College. Gardner led with 17 digs in the game.

Jaeke said she credits much of the Titans’ current success to their teamwork on and off the court.

“We are playing very well as a team, and our chemistry is strong, which helps when we are out on the court,” Jaeke said. “Every single girl is engaged in the game whether they are on the court or not. Our success doesn’t necessarily all come from the points we are able to score, it is more about our team dynamic and how well we work together.”

The team traveled to UW-Platteville on Sept. 25th to take on the 11-3 Pioneers who have also won nine of their last ten games.

The Titans defeated the Pioneers 3-0 for their game in Platteville on Sept. 25th.