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Titans Split Season-Opening Matches In Washington

Carly Lemke had 15 kills and 11 blocks on the day for the Titans.
Carly Lemke had 15 kills and 11 blocks on the day for the Titans.

Carly Lemke totaled 15 kills and 11 blocks as the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team opened the 2018 season by splitting a pair of 3-0 decisions against Northwest Conference (NWC) opponents from Washington on Friday (Aug. 31) in Tacoma, Wash.

UW-Oshkosh (1-1) suffered a setback to Pacific Lutheran University in set scores of 25-17, 25-22, 25-16 before sweeping University of Puget Sound, 25-22, 27-25, 25-15. Pacific Lutheran University (1-0), the reigning NWC champion, is ranked 22nd in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Lemke, who accounted for a team-leading 22.5 points and hit .250 on the day, paced the Titans with eight kills and four blocks against Pacific Lutheran University. She then produced seven kills and a match-high seven blocks against University of Puget Sound.

UW-Oshkosh's Rachel Gardner led all players in digs both matches, compiling 13 in the opener and 16 during the second contest of the day.

Shelby Coron added a combined 14 kills for the Titans while Renee Rush and Taylor Allen contributed 13 and 11 terminations, respectively.

Emma Kiekhofer and McKenna Micech both had 20 assists while sharing setting duties for UW-Oshkosh. Micech chipped in a team-leading three service aces.

In the victory over University of Puget Sound (0-1), the Titans outhit the Loggers, .162 to .045, including .200 to -.154 in the third set. UW-Oshkosh also held slim advantages in kills (33-29), assists (29-28), digs (51-50) and blocks (9-8).

Coron had a match-high nine kills and Allen added eight. Kiekhofer had a team-best 13 assists while Micech contributed 12 digs, nine assists and three service aces.

UW-Oshkosh scored the first two points and maintained a lead the entire first set. Clinging to a 22-21 edge, the Titans recorded three of the final four points, including two on kills by Coron.

The Titans owned a 24-21 lead in the second set following a kill by Lemke, but the Loggers stormed back to reclaim a 25-24 advantage with a four-point run that included a pair of aces by Hannah Wright. A University of Puget Sound attack error allowed the Titans to knot the score at 25 before a kill by Rush and a service ace by Becky Brezen gave UW-Oshkosh a two-set lead.

University of Puget Sound raced out to a 6-3 lead in the third set before UW-Oshkosh scored eight consecutive points for a 11-6 advantage. The decisive scoring run was aided by five straight attack errors by the Loggers. The Titans extended their lead to 23-14 after another two Logger errors, and the match ended on University of Puget Sound's 12th attack error of the set.

Alli Reviglio led the Loggers with seven kills.

In the season-opening loss to Pacific Lutheran University, the Titans hit just .080 while the Lutes attacked at a .255 rate. UW-Oshkosh had a 27-26 edge in kills over the first two sets, but the Titans committed a total of 25 attack errors.

Pacific Lutheran University concluded the match with advantages in kills (38-34), service aces (4-2) and blocks (9-7). The Titans amassed more assists (31-28) and digs (47-44).

Rush tied for the UW-Oshkosh lead with eight kills, and Micech dished out a match-best 11 assists.

The Lutes' Isabella Zubrod had 10 kills on .429 hitting to go along with a team-high six assists. Caylie Shiramizu and Mackenzie Harris led Pacific Lutheran University with 12 digs and five blocks, respectively.

Pacific Lutheran University took leads for good at 5-4 in the opening set, 7-5 in the second frame and 4-3 in the final set.

UW-Oshkosh concludes its trip to Washington with matches against Elizabethtown College (Pa.) and 16th-ranked Millikin University (Ill.) on Saturday (Sept. 1) in Tacoma.