UW-La Crosse recorded 73 kills as the Eagles defeated the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team, 3-1, in a matchup of last year's WIAC co-champions on Wednesday (Oct. 5) in La Crosse.
The Eagles registered at least 16 kills in each set en route to a 25-22, 22-19, 28-30, 25-15 victory.
UW-Oshkosh (16-4, 1-2 WIAC), ranked 21st in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and 18th-ranked UW-La Crosse (16-3, 2-1) tied atop last season's WIAC standings with 6-1 records.
Maddie Entinger, who entered the match leading the country with 11.30 assists per set, collected 60 assists and 11 digs while piloting the UW-La Crosse offense.
Ashley Entinger and Jill Entinger had 19 kills and four blocks apiece to pace the Eagles, who held advantages in kills (73-45), hitting percentage (.256 to .185), service aces (7-2) and digs (71-61).
UW-Oshkosh, which began the week with a nation-leading 177 blocks, owned a 10-7 edge in blocks against the Eagles.
UW-La Crosse's Stephanie Henk added 16 kills and a match-best 16 digs while Marisa Johnson chipped in 10 kills and 12 digs.
UW-Oshkosh raced out to a 10-6 lead following a kill by Tina Elstner. UW-La Crosse rallied to tie the score at 13 on a Titan attack error and took the lead for good at 14-13 on a service aces by Maddie Entinger. Clinging to a 22-21 edge, the Eagles scored three of the last four points of the opening set on a pair of kills by Henk and one by Jessica Jablonski as UW-La Crosse notched 19 kills on .395 hitting during the first frame.
UW-La Crosse led for all but one point during the second set in which the Eagles owned a 21-9 advantage in kills. UW-Oshkosh tallied seven of nine points to pull within 16-15 on three straight blocks and one Eagle attack error. UW-La Crosse answered with four consecutive points for a 20-15 lead and owned an advantage of at least three points for the remainder of the set.
The third set featured 11 ties and five lead changes. UW-Oshkosh owed a 23-17 advantage, but the Eagles scored the next six points to knot the score at 23. UW-La Crosse's six-point skein consisted of three UW-Oshkosh errors and three kills by Ashley Entinger. The Titans fended off three match-points before reclaiming a 28-27 lead on a kill by Samantha Jaeke. A kill by Shannon Herman provided UW-Oshkosh another set-point at 29-28, and another termination by Herman on the following point extended the match.
In the fourth set, Jill Entinger recorded kills on the first two points, and the Eagles never trailed. UW-La Crosse owned leads of 16-9 and 20-12 following kills by Henk.
Elstner and Herman led the Titans with 13 and 10 kills, respectively.
UW-Oshkosh's Lexi Thiel had 31 assists and a team-high 15 digs for her ninth double-double of the season and the 29th of her career.
UW-Oshkosh will host 22nd-ranked and league-leading UW-Eau Claire (18-3, 3-0 WIAC) on Friday (Oct. 7) in Kolf Sports Center.
Photo courtesy of Jim Lund, Crescent Printing & Promotions