The 2013 season came to a halt for the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team as it fell in the opening round of the WIAC Championship to UW-La Crosse on Tuesday (Nov. 5) in La Crosse.
The Eagles topped the Titans in five sets despite trailing 2-1. UW-La Crosse came from behind in both of the final two sets to escape with the victory.
UW-Oshkosh fell behind early in the first set and struggled to come back. The Eagles led 16-10 and were able to keep the momentum and gained a 21-16 advantage before the Titans finally worked their way back into the set, scoring six of the next eight points and climbing to within one at 23-22. It would not be enough for UW-Oshkosh, however, as the Eagles were able to hang on and take a 25-23 victory.
Set two was all UW-Oshkosh early on. After UW-La Crosse earned the first point, the Titans rallied off seven in a row for the early 7-1 advantage. The Titans continued to control the set, going up 16-10 before a five-point Eagle rally brought the score to within one. The two sides traded points, but with the set tied at 20 apiece, UW-Oshkosh got hot and scored five of the final six points and tied the match up at 1-1 with a 25-21 win.
The Titans picked up where they left off in the third set, dominating the Eagles for a 25-13 victory that included a 19-6 run and gave UW-Oshkosh the 2-1 edge.
UW-La Crosse came back firing in the fourth set and jumped out to a five-point lead at 10-5. The Titans responded by scoring the next seven points and grabbing a 12-10 lead. Trailing 20-17 late, the Eagles charged back to tie the score at 20-20 and came out on top to take the set 26-24 and equalize the match at 2-2.
The Titans took the first three points of the final set before UW-La Crosse answered with three points of its own. The conference foes battled in a close set all the way through. UW-Oshkosh took a 14-13 lead to set up match point before hitting a serve out of bounds and surrendering service back to the Eagles, who responded and took the final two points to take the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Katelyn Malcheski continued her run of stellar offensive performances for the Titans, leading the way with 21 kills. No other Titan had more than eight kills.
On the defensive side, Mandy Trautmann once again led the Titans with 29 digs.
Crystal Ziegler had 19 kills to lead the Eagles, while Cassie Raduka set up 42 assists. Lauren Rosowski led UW-La Crosse with 14 digs, but the Eagles had a rounded defensive effort with Courtney Geisler and Raduka contributing 13 and 11 digs, respectively.
For the Titans, it was the second five-set loss to UW-La Crosse in the past three weeks.
The Eagles advance to play top-seeded UW-Stevens Point in the WIAC semifinal on Friday in Stevens Point.