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Titans Storm Back To Stun Blue Devils

Shelby Coron tallied three service aces, two digs, two solo blocks and one kill against the Blue Devils.
Shelby Coron tallied three service aces, two digs, two solo blocks and one kill against the Blue Devils.

Samantha Jaeke recorded her fourth triple-double of the year to lift the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team to a 3-2 comeback victory over UW-Stout in the regular season finale on Saturday (Oct. 28) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh (19-14, 3-4 WIAC) defeated the Blue Devils in set scores of 24-26, 19-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-12.

With the win, the Titans secured the fifth seed for the upcoming six-team WIAC Championship. UW-Oshkosh opens the league tournament on Tuesday (Oct. 31) at fourth-seeded UW-Stevens Point (24-9, 4-3 WIAC).

UW-Stout (9-19, 2-5 WIAC) will be tournament's sixth seed. The Blue Devils will travel to third-seeded UW-Whitewater (20-7, 5-2) on Tuesday for their first-round contest.

Top-seeded UW-La Crosse (19-6, 7-0 WIAC) and second-seeded UW-Eau Claire (17-10, 6-1) both earned first-round byes and will host WIAC Championship semifinal matches on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The final of the WIAC Championship will be held at the site of the highest remaining seed next Saturday (Nov. 4).

In Saturday's triumph over UW-Stout, Jaeke amassed a team-leading 15 kills and 17 assists to go along with 11 digs and six blocks. Jaeke becomes the fifth player in the NCAA Division III with at least four triple-doubles this season.

Tina Elstner had 11 kills and six blocks for the Titans, who also received seven terminations apiece from Carly Lemke and Brianna Witter. Lemke chipped in six blocks while Shelby Coron added four.

UW-Oshkosh's Katie Hodges collected a team-high 19 digs while Rachel Gardner followed with 18 digs, and McKenna Micech contributed four service aces for the Titans.

UW-Stout held advantages in kills (54-46), assists (51-39) and blocks (15-14.5), but UW-Oshkosh outhit the Blue Devils, .137 to .119, and owned an 11-10 edge in service aces and a 78-64 lead in digs.

UW-Oshkosh scored the first six points of the match and led each point of the first set until UW-Stout claimed a 24-23 advantage. After trailing by scores of 19-10 and 23-18, the Blue Devils forged a tie at 23 and took their first lead following a UW-Oshkosh attack error. The Titans knotted the score at 24 on a kill by Renee Rush before back-to-back kills by UW-Stout concluded the set.

The Blue Devils took the lead for good in the second set at 4-3 following a pair of service aces. UW-Stout extended its advantage to 10-5, but the Titans trimmed their deficit to one point on five occasions, including at 18-17 after a kill from Lemke. However, UW-Stout tallied seven of the final nine points of the set, including four on kills, to claim a two-set advantage.

UW-Oshkosh never trailed in the third set until the frame's 43 point. The Titans owned a 17-11 lead following a solo block by Elstner and a 20-14 advantage after a Blue Devil attack error, but UW-Stout claimed eight of the next nine points to take a 22-21 lead. A kill by Jaeke pulled the Titans even at 22 before a kill from Elstner and a service ace from Hodges provided UW-Oshkosh a 24-22 advantage. The Blue Devils registered a kill to cut their deficit to 24-23, but a UW-Stout attack error on the ensuing point ended the frame.

UW-Stout jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the fourth set and held an 11-10 edge until the Titans rattled off seven consecutive points, including four on service aces by Micech, to claim an 18-12 lead. The Blue Devils closed to within 20-16, but back-to-back kills by Jaeke and Elstner, and a UW-Stout attack error extended the UW-Oshkosh lead to 23-16. Witter then capped the set with kills on the final two points.

UW-Oshkosh held a 5-2 lead in the final set following kills from Jaeke and Lemke, and a combination block by Jaeke and Lemke. A kill from Witter increased the Titan advantage to 8-4 before UW-Stout rallied to tie the score at 12 as UW-Oshkosh committed five errors during the Blue Devils' 8-4 scoring run. UW-Oshkosh responded with a double-block from Coron and Elstner for a 13-12 edge and finished its match-ending three-point run with a UW-Stout setting error and a service ace by Coron on match-point.

Kennedy Strain paced the Blue Devils with 15 kills.

UW-Stout's Ashley Pratt had 13 kills and a match-high nine blocks while Emili Cain added 10 kills and Jessica DuVal led all players with 46 assists.

Steph Cannon compiled a match-high 28 digs for the Blue Devils, and Emily Makina had a team-leading four service aces.

UW-Oshkosh will take a season-best six-match winning streak into Tuesday's WIAC postseason contest with UW-Stevens Point.