Samantha Jaeke eclipsed a milestone en route to recording a career-high 20 kills as the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team clinched a berth into next month's WIAC Championship by pulling out a 3-1 victory over UW-Stout on Friday (Oct. 18) in Kolf Sports Center.
UW-Oshkosh (19-6, 4-1 WIAC) remained in contention for the league title by slipping past UW-Stout (18-7, 1-4) in set scores of 28-26, 27-25, 20-25, 28-26. The Titans, who improved to 9-0 at home this season, overcame deficits of 23-20 in the first set, 17-10 during the second and 24-22 in the fourth.
The Titans are one game behind league leading UW-Whitewater (20-3, 5-0 WIAC) with two matches conference matches to play. UW-Whitewater, ranked seventh in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, battles UW-Oshkosh next Wednesday (Oct. 23) in Oshkosh.
Jaeke surpassed 1,000 career kills on the opening point of the fourth set Friday and concluded the match with 1,006 during her four years as a Titan. Jaeke, whose 20 kills against UW-Stout were the most by Titan since Tina Elstner had 26 in 2017, becomes the first UW-Oshkosh player to reach 1,000 career kills since Elstner accomplished the feat last season.
Jaeke, who has paced UW-Oshkosh in kills 17 times this season, hit .333 against the Blue Devils after entering the night with a WIAC-leading .316 hitting percentage. Jaeke's previous career best was 19 kills established earlier this season.
Kendall Enyart added 10 kills and five blocks for the Titans, who also received seven terminations and 15 digs from Carissa Sundholm, seven kills from Rachel Aasby, and six kills from Kate Nottoli. UW-Oshkosh's Shelby Coron chipped in five kills to go along with a career- and match-high eight blocks while Rachel Gardner had a team-leading 22 digs.
UW-Stout fell for the fifth time in the last six meetings in the series despite owning slight advantages of 58-55 in kills, 75-71 in digs and 4-1 in service aces. UW-Oshkosh compiled a .155 to .140 hitting advantage and a 13-10 edge in blocks. The Titans went into the matchup leading the conference with a .211 hitting percentage while UW-Stout led the league with 2.09 service aces per set.
UW-Stout's Lexie Nelson notched a triple-double with 12 kills, 22 assists and 12 digs.
Lydia Kneubuehl collected a team-high 13 kills and six blocks for the Blue Devils while Jessica DuVal registered 24 assists, and Steph Cannon had a match-best 25 digs and three service aces.
UW-Oshkosh maintained an early lead in the first set, including at 10-5 following an Aasby kill, until UW-Stout knotted the score at 11. Tied again at 16, the Blue Devils claimed an 18-16 advantage after a pair of Titan errors before building a 21-18 lead on Cannon's lone kill of the match. A UW-Oshkosh service error made the score 23-20, but the Titans roared back with four points in a row as Nottoli contributed two kills, Aasby terminated, and Jaeke and Nottoli combined for a block. The Blue Devils fended off two set-points via Titan attack errors and reached a set-point of their own at 26-25. However, UW-Oshkosh tallied the final three points of the frame on a UW-Stout service error and a pair of Blue Devil attack errors that included a set-ending block from Enyart.
UW-Stout reclaimed a 3-2 edge in the second set and did not trail again until a Blue Devil error allowed the Titans a 23-22 advantage. UW-Stout built a 17-10 cushion following back-to-back UW-Oshkosh attack errors, but the Titans responded with a 13-5 run that featured four blocks and six additional Blue Devil errors. UW-Stout denied a pair of Titan set-points at 24-23 and 25-24 before two straight Enyart kills capped the frame.
The Blue Devils trailed for just one point during the third set, reclaiming the lead for good at 5-4 before extending their advantage to 23-18 and consecutive kills by Nelson and Emily Makina capped the set.
UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stout then combined for 35 kills during the fourth set as the Titans accounted for 16 terminations on .302 hitting and UW-Stout pounded down 19 kills but committed eight attack errors and hit .204. UW-Oshkosh owned leads of 14-10 and 16-12 until the Blue Devils took their first lead of the frame at 22-21 following a kill from Makina. Nelson added a kill of her own to increase the UW-Stout advantage to 23-21, and a Makina termination later upped the lead to 24-22. UW-Oshkosh thwarted a pair of set-points after a UW-Stout service error and a double-block by Coron and Sundholm. Enyart followed with a kill to provide the Titan match-point at 25-24, and Coron and Sundholm once again teamed up for a block to make the score 26-25. After a kill by UW-Stout's Jessica Barr knotted the set for the eighth and final time, Enyart and Sundholm recorded kills on the final two points of the contest.
UW-Oshkosh is off until hosting UW-Whitewater for a share of the WIAC lead Wednesday in Kolf Sports Center.