UW-Oshkosh played three nationally ranked teams, winning once, during the UW-Whitewater Volleyball Invitational on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 28-29) in Whitewater.
On Friday, the Titans (12-10) fell to 12th-ranked UW-Whitewater (13-5) and Millikin University (16-4). Saturday's action began with a five-set defeat to #11 Elmhurst College (13-4). UW-Oshkosh then bounced back with a five-set victory over #15 Wartburg College (16-3).
UW-Whitewater defeated the Titans by a 27-25, 27-25, 20-25, 25-19 count. The first set was close throughout, with UW-Whitewater taking a 20-16 lead. UW-Oshkosh then tied the score at 25 before the Warhawks earned the final two points. During the second set, neither team held a lead of more than four points.
The Titans took advantage of two Warhawk errors to gain a 10-5 cushion during the third. UW-Oshkosh then blocked an attack to clinch its set win. In the final game, the Warhawks used a 6-1 run to break away from the deadlock at 10.
Kristen Ruchti paced all players with 19 kills, helping UW-Whitewater hit .246 for the match. Heidi Gors (Sr. • Madison) led the Titans with 14 kills, to go with 46 assists by Morgan Liebetrau (Sr. • West Bend) and 27 digs from Robyn Eggert (Jr. • Woodridge, Ill.).
Friday's second match was another nail-biter, with Millikin University (Ill.) pulling out a 27-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 decision. The Titans battled despite being out-hit, .255 to .070.
Eggert marked impressive totals of 21 digs and six service aces. UW-Oshkosh also received 14 kills from Brianna Wagner (Fr. • Sheboygan). Millikin benefitted from Audrey Krajec's 14 kills and eight blocks.
Elmhurst College (Ill.) recorded a 25-13, 25-14, 19-25, 23-25, 15-12 triumph over the Titans. Wagner paced the attack with 10 kills, as Morgan Cizauskas (Fr. • Mukwonago) facilitated with 30 assists.
Against Wartburg College (Iowa), the Titans got off to a slow start. The Knights took the first two sets, 25-17 and 28-26. UW-Oshkosh responded by winning the final three with scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 15-5. The Titans got into a groove, hitting .455 during the third set and .500 in the fourth.
Cizauskas racked up 51 assists in the match, while Wagner slammed home 20 kills. A strong defense, led by 22 digs from Eggert, helped the Titans finish on a high note.
For the weekend, Cizauskas totaled 92 assists and Liebetrau 82. Wagner compiled 52 kills with a .228 hitting percentage.
UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-Superior on Friday (Oct. 5).