Titans Unable To Catch Pointers

Carly Lemke hit .471 with 10 kills against the Pointers.
Carly Lemke hit .471 with 10 kills against the Pointers.

April Gehl had a match-high 21 kills and a team-leading 19 digs as UW-Stevens Point defeated the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team, 3-1, on Wednesday (Oct. 11) in Stevens Point.

UW-Stevens Point (21-6, 3-1 WIAC) won the match in set scores of 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-14. The Pointers, who have won three of the last five meetings with UW-Oshkosh, entered the contest ranked second in the NCAA Division III in digs, third in blocks and fourth in kills.

The Pointers concluded Wednesday's match with advantages in kills (53-44), hitting percentage (.209 to .139), assists (47-40), service aces (9-3) and digs (83-70) while the Titans owned a 7-6 edge in blocks.

Morgan Wirkus added 11 kills and 18 digs for UW-Stevens Point, which also received nine kills apiece from Tara Emme and Kelly Magliano, 21 assists from Ellie Adams and 17 digs from Kendra Kundinger. Kundinger went into the match leading the country in digs while Gehl listed fifth nationally in kills.

Tina Elstner paced UW-Oshkosh with 12 kills. Carly Lemke chipped in 10 kills for the Titans while Shelby Coron registered seven kills and four blocks.

UW-Oshkosh's Samantha Jaeke nearly notched her third triple-double of the season, compiling nine kills, a team-high 20 assists, nine digs and four blocks.

The Titans' Rachel Gardner led all players with 26 digs, and Rebecca Doughty had 17 assists while sharing setting duties with Jaeke.

UW-Oshkosh (11-13, 0-4 WIAC) held a 12-10 lead in the first set following a kill from Jaeke, but UW-Stevens Point scored nine of the next 11 points for a 19-14 advantage. The Titans pulled within 23-20 on a combination block from Jaeke and Lemke before back-to-back kills by Gehl and Tamme secured the set for the Pointers.

The Titans reclaimed the lead for good in Set 2 at 7-6 on consecutive Pointer attack errors. The errors were part of a 9-2 scoring run that gave UW-Oshkosh a 13-8 advantage. Trailing 22-15, UW-Stevens Point tallied six unanswered points to cut its deficit to 22-21, but Jaeke recorded a kill for a 23-21 UW-Oshkosh edge, and a double-block from Coron and Elstner provided the Titans set-point at 24-20. UW-Stevens Point fended off three set-points before a kill by Elstner ended the frame.

UW-Oshkosh raced out to a 9-4 advantage in the third set on the strength of six kills and a pair of blocks. UW-Stevens Point rallied to tie the score at 12 and took the lead for good at 13-12 on a kill by Gehl. The Titans pulled within 20-19 on a kill by Alyssa Wolslegel, but the Pointers answered with three straight points, including two on UW-Oshkosh errors, to increase their lead to 23-19. UW-Stevens Point closed the frame three points later with a combination block from Maddie Courter and Abby Majercik.

UW-Stevens Point scored the first seven points of the fourth set. UW-Oshkosh closed to within 9-6, but the Pointers extended their advantage to 17-7 and led by at least eight points for the remainder of the contest.

UW-Oshkosh faces UW-River Falls on Friday (Oct. 13) in Kolf Sports Center.

Photo courtesy of Kylie Bridenhagen, UW-Stevens Point Sports Information