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

UWO volleyball falls in WIAC Tournament

Morgan Feltz / Advance-Titan — UWO’s Jaclyn Dutkiewicz sets up her teammates for a spike against Alverno College on Oct. 31 at the Kolf Sports Center.

The UW Oshkosh volleyball team fell to UW-Whitewater in the championship game of the 2023 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Volleyball Tournament Nov. 11.

Because they were the No. 1 seed, the Titans started off the Tournament hosting No. 5 seed UW-Eau Claire in the semifinal round at Kolf sports center on Nov. 5. The Titans swept the Blugolds 3-0, the Titans totaled 41 kills off of 135 total attacks. Riley Kindt led the Titans in kills with nine. A big factor to the win for the Titans is that 34 of the Titan points came off of Blugold errors. 

In the championship game, the Titans faced off against the No. 2 seed UW-Whitewater Warhawks. Unfortunately for the Titans, they suffered their first loss of the season as the Warhawks swept the Titans and went on to win the Tournament. 

Coach Jon Ellmann said that the team could see where they could’ve improved right away.

“We debriefed and discussed what went well and identified areas we needed to focus on moving forward,” he said. “Our team has an incredible IQ and was able to specifically identify some areas that we could focus on moving forward.”

The Titans will now shift their focus to the NCAA Tournament as on Monday, the team heard their name be called in the Selection Show. Ellmann said that moment of hearing the Titans name get called was a moment of celebration for all the hard work during the season.

“Those moments where you get to sit together and celebrate the result of that work are so special,” he said. “I can’t speak for everyone but it’s safe to say that there is a ton of emotion the moment you hear your name called.”

The Titans will play against Greenville University (Illinois) on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. If they win, they will then play against the winner of Calvin University (Michigan)/Gustavus Adolphus University (Minnesota) at 7 pm on Nov. 17 all games will be held at Kolf Sports Center.

The Titans first opponent, the Greenville University Panthers will be making their 7th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Despite their 23-10 record, Greenville clinched their spot in the NCAA tournament with a win in the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship game. The Panthers are led by Mia Bonacorsi. Bonacorsi leads the team with 378 kills and averages 3.26 points per game. 

Calvin University, who was the team that eliminated the Titans in last season’s NCAA tournament is the No. 12 ranked team in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. The Knights also have a 22-7 record and are coming into the tournament as the 3rd best team in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference (behind Albion and No. 2 nationally ranked Hope College.). Aerin Baker is the leading scorer on the Knights, as she recorded 383 kills with an average of 4.13 points per game.

Gustavus Adolphus, the No. 18 ranked team in the AVCA poll are the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions with a 25-6 record. The Gusties are led by Marlee Turn, who leads the team with 361 kills and averaged 3.75 points per game. If the Titans face the Gusties on friday, it will not be the first time Gustavus Adolphus faced a WIAC opponent this season. The Gusties beat both UW-La Crosse and UW-Eau Claire 3-2 on Sept. 8 and 9. They also faced off against UW-River Falls in a match they lost 3-1 on Oct. 3rd.

Despite the loss in the WIAC championship game to UWW, Coach Ellmann thinks the team is in the right mindset for the NCAA Tournament.

“The loss surely helped the flame burn a little brighter,” he said. “For the tournament, we won’t be looking back for motivation. We are focused on exactly where we are. Right here, right now.”

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