Marisa Johnson had 13 kills and 13 digs to lead UW-La Crosse to a 3-0 win over UW-Oshkosh in the WIAC women's volleyball opener Wednesday (Sept. 19) in La Crosse.
UW-La Crosse (8-4, 1-0 WIAC), the three-time defending league champion, swept the Titans in set scores of 25-23, 25-20, 25-15.
Emma Lawrence and Rhiana Pochman added 10 kills apiece for UW-La Crosse, which owned advantages in kills (45-25), hitting percentage (.198 to .061), assists (42-27), service aces (4-3) and digs (66-47). UW-Oshkosh held a 7.5-4.5 edge in blocks. The Eagles went into the contest leading the WIAC with 18.96 digs and 2.26 service aces per set.
UW-La Crosse's Abbey Fox distributed 37 assists while Julia Van Fleet led all players with 21 digs.
The first set was tied for the 11th and final time at 23 after a triple-block by UW-Oshkosh's Allen, Rush and Ellie Wanous. A kill from Liz Lansink provided the Eagles with set-point at 24-23, and a combination block by Kathryn Maas and Pochman ended the frame on the ensuing point.
The Titans jumped out to an 11-8 lead in the second set following an Allen kill. Trailing 17-13, UW-La Crosse scored 10 of the next 12 points to reclaim a 23-19 advantage. The Eagles' decisive run included three kills and a service ace. A kill by Rush pulled the Titans within 23-20, but the Eagles scored the final two points on kills from Fox and Johnson.
UW-La Crosse trailed for just one point in the third set, turning an 8-7 deficit into a 20-12 lead as the Eagles hit a match-high .258 in the final frame.
UW-Oshkosh heads to Aurora, Ill., for three matches this weekend, beginning with Ripon College on Friday (Sept. 21).
Photo courtesy of Jim Lund