Carly Lemke had a match-high 11 kills in the opener, the Titans recorded a season-best 17 blocks during the nightcap and the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team secured a pair of wins over Midwest Conference opponents Wednesday (Sept. 12) in De Pere.
UW-Oshkosh (7-5) swept Lawrence University in set scores of 25-18, 25-17, 25-19 before defeating St. Norbert College, 3-1, in scores of 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-15.
The Titans, who have won each of their 21 meetings with Lawrence University since 1995, extended their winning streak to seven matches against St. Norbert College.
Lemke paced UW-Oshkosh with 18 total kills Wednesday. The balanced Titan attack also received 15 kills apiece from Taylor Allen and Tina Elstner, and 14 from both Kendall Enyart and Renee Rush. Allen and Elstner added 12 and eight blocks, respectively, while Emma Kiekhofer dished out a team-leading 38 assists.
Allen's 10 total blocks against St. Norbert College are the most by a Titan since Nerissa Vogt sent back 11 attacks in a four-set win against UW-Stout on Oct. 29, 2016.
Rachel Gardner led UW-Oshkosh in digs for the 14th consecutive match dating back to last season. She now leads all of the 429-team NCAA Division III with 236 digs on the year after registering 12 against Lawrence University and finishing one shy of her career best with 32 against St. Norbert College.
In the three-set triumph over Lawrence University, UW-Oshkosh owned considerable advantages in kills (40-21), hitting percentage (.169 to .049), assists (38-19), digs (59-38) and blocks (4.5-4). The Titans pounded down 16 kills on .243 hitting during the final set.
Elstner contributed nine kills and 11 digs in her first match of the season while Rush added seven terminations and Allen six kills.
Kiekhofer amassed 20 assists and Rebecca Doughty had 12 while splitting setting duties for the Titans.
UW-Oshkosh scored the first three points of the match on kills from Lemke and Rush, and a service ace by Lemke. The Titans trailed for just one point during the opening set as a Rush kill gave them the lead for good at 10-9. The Vikings closed to within 17-16, but UW-Oshkosh tallied eight of the final 10 points, including two on kills from Allen.
Lawrence University (1-9) got out to a 12-11 lead in the second set before the Titans responded with five consecutive points for a 16-12 advantage behind kills from Elstner and Lemke. The Titans once again finished the set strong, recording six points in a row, including two kills apiece from Lemke and Rush, for a 24-17 cushion.
The Vikings raced out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and did not trail until a kill from Gardner provided the Titans a 10-9 edge. Tied at 19, UW-Oshkosh concluded the match with a six-point run that featured kills from Allen, Elstner, Enyart and Rush in addition to a service ace by Lemke.
Arianna Neumeyer led the Vikings with seven kills.
In the comeback triumph over St. Norbert College, the Titans overcame a 55-46 deficit in kills by outhitting the Green Knights, .193 to .127, and owning advantages of 17-5 in blocks and 8-5 in service aces.
Allen established season highs for the Titans with nine kills and 10 blocks. She hit a season-best .471, committing just one error in 17 attempts.
Enyart tied her season high with nine kills for UW-Oshkosh, which also received seven terminations each from Lemke, Rush and Shelby Coron. Elstner contributed six kills and seven blocks.
Kiekhofer and Doughty distributed 18 and 17 assists, respectively, for the Titans while Katie Hodges had 11 of the team's 73 digs, and Becky Brezen chipped in nine digs and a match-high three service aces.
After a service error gave UW-Oshkosh the first point of the match, the Green Knights answered with the next three points and never trailed for the remainder of the first set. A 10-5 scoring run allowed the Titans to pull within 19-18, but three straight UW-Oshkosh errors gifted St. Norbert College a 22-18 advantage. The Titans spoiled four consecutive set-points to close within 24-23 before a kill gave the Green Knights the narrow set win.
The second and third sets were tied a total of 16 times as UW-Oshkosh hung on for narrow wins. The Titans turned a 13-12 second-set deficit into a 21-17 lead behind three total blocks from Elstner and a pair of kills by Rush. Clinging to a 23-22 advantage, Allen notched a kill for set-point at 24-22, and Elstner smashed a booming kill two points later to knot the match at one set apiece.
Tied at 13 in the third set, the Titans reclaimed a 19-14 lead on the strength of two kills from Coron, a termination by Rush and a pair of blocks from Enyart. The Green Knights forged ahead, 22-21, but a kill by Allen and a service ace by Enyart forced a St. Norbert College timeout. The Green Knights tied the score at 23 on a Titan ballhandling error before a combination block by Allen and Kiekhofer, and a kill from Rush capped the frame.
The Titans then cruised in the final set after racing out to a 10-4 lead following a combination block by Allen and Coron. The UW-Oshkosh advantage ballooned to 21-13 after a block from Elstner, and the Titans clinched the victory six points later.
St. Norbert College's Halie Ferry led all players with 18 kills. Grace Baumann had 12 kills for the Green Knights, who also received 11 terminations from Haley Bartz and a team-leading 20 digs from Jaisah Lee.
Danielle Dolan and Emily Rohloff both collected 25 assists while piloting the St. Norbert College (4-7) offense. Rohloff added 11 digs to complete a double-double.
UW-Oshkosh is off until opening WIAC play at UW-La Crosse next Wednesday (Sept. 19).
Photo courtesy of Patrick Ferron