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Titans Improve Winning Streak To Nine Matches

Samantha Jaeke led the Titans with a season-high 15 kills against St. Norbert College.
Samantha Jaeke led the Titans with a season-high 15 kills against St. Norbert College.

The nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team extended its winning streak to nine matches with a pair of victories on Wednesday (Sept. 14) in Appleton.

UW-Oshkosh, ranked 23rd in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, outlasted St. Norbert College, 3-2, before defeating Lawrence University, 3-0.

The Titans downed St. Norbert College in set scores of 25-9, 25-23, 22-25, 22-25, 15-9 and swept Lawrence University in results of 25-23, 25-19, 25-15. UW-Oshkosh owns a 5-0 record in five-set matches this season.

UW-Oshkosh (11-2) has won each of the 19 meetings with Lawrence University and 15 of the 17 matchups with St. Norbert College since 1995.

Samantha Jaeke led the Titans with 24 total kills in Wednesday's two wins, including a season-high 15 against St. Norbert College. UW-Oshkosh's Tina Elstner collected 13 kills and 16 digs against St. Norbert College and a team-leading 10 kills with 16 digs against Lawrence University for her sixth and seventh double-doubles of the year.

In the five-set triumph over St. Norbert College (4-5), the Titans pounded down 60 kills and registered a season-high 19.5 blocks.

UW-Oshkosh's Brooke Brinkman tallied 10 kills and 11 blocks against the Green Knights, with the latter amount tying a career high. The Titans also received 50 assists and 17 digs from Lexi Thiel and a season-best 13 kills from Shannon Herman.

Katie Hodges led UW-Oshkosh with a career-best 26 digs, and Laura Trochinski chipped in 17 digs.

UW-Oshkosh held advantages in kills (60-54), hitting percentage (.252 to .170), blocks (19.5 to 15) and service aces (9-6) while the Green Knights had a 111-97 margin in digs.

The Titans scored 10 consecutive points for a commanding 22-7 lead in the opening set. The double-digit skein began with a pair of kills by Brinkman and included two combination blocks by Brinkman and Jaeke, two kills by Elstner and two service aces by Thiel.

The Green Knights raced out to an 8-2 advantage in the second set before the Titans roared back to claim their first lead of the frame at 15-14. St. Norbert College surged to a 22-18 lead, but UW-Oshkosh scored seven of the last eight points on six kills and a service ace to go ahead by two sets. Herman and Jaeke both accounted for a pair of kills in the Titans' 7-1 scoring run to end the set.

UW-Oshkosh appeared to be headed toward a sweep after tallying the first seven points of the third set, but St. Norbert College responded with the following five points and took its first lead of the frame at 15-14. A UW-Oshkosh service error provided the Green Knights the lead for good at 17-16. Two straight Titan errors gave the Green Knights set-point at 24-22 and a kill by St. Norbert College on the following point extended the match.

In the fourth set, St. Norbert College scored five points in a row for an 11-6 lead. UW-Oshkosh rallied to knot the score at 15, but two straight kills gave the Green Knights a 17-15 advantage it wouldn't relinquish. The Titans cut their deficit to 21-20, but the Green Knights recorded three consecutive kills to reach set-point at 24-20 and sent the contest to a fifth frame with a kill by Hannah Johnshoy.

The decisive set was tied for the fifth and final time at 7 before back-to-back kills by Herman and Elstner put UW-Oshkosh ahead for good at 9-7. Two straight kills by Elstner extended the Titan advantage to 11-8. Following a kill by St. Norbert College, the Titans rattled off the final four points of the match on a kill by Elstner, a combination block by Brinkman and Jaeke, a Green Knights attack error and a kill by Brinkman.

Anika Johnson paced St. Norbert College with 13 kills. Halie Ferry added 12 kills and 19 digs while Aubree Antosch contributed 26 digs and Jaisah Lee 21 digs and a match-leading four service aces. Anna Berghoefer and Emily Rohloff collected 25 and 18 assists, respectively, while splitting the Green Knights' setting duties.

In the victory over Lawrence University, 17 Titans received playing time as the Vikings (4-7) were limited to a .000 hitting percentage.

UW-Oshkosh owned considerable advantages in kills (39-25), hitting percentage (.152 to .000), digs (70-61) and blocks (9-4).

Thiel amassed 22 assists in two sets played, and Trochinski led all players with 19 digs.

Lawrence University scored the initial four points of the match and didn't trail until a kill by Elstner gave the Titans a 16-15 edge. Tied at 18, UW-Oshkosh recorded three straight points, including two on kills by Elstner and Jaeke, for a 21-18 advantage. The Vikings pulled within 21-20 on a service ace, but a service error and a kill by Herman gave the Titans their largest lead of the set at 23-20. A Jaeke kill put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 24-21, and another kill by Jaeke gave the Titans the set three points later.

The Titans tallied nine of the first 10 points of the second set and held a lead of at least five points for the remainder of the frame. Elstner and Jaeke both accounted for four of UW-Oshkosh's 13 kills in the set.

Lawrence University was limited to a -.149 hitting percentage in the final set as the Vikings committed 12 attack errors. Tied at 11, UW-Oshkosh scored three straight points on a service ace by Elstner and a pair of kills by Jaeke and maintained a lead for the rest of the match. A block by Carly Lemke gave the Titans a 19-14 advantage, and UW-Oshkosh completed the sweep with kills from Brianna Witter and Kimberly Schwobe, and four Vikings attack errors.

The 11 kills and 14 digs from Arianna Neumeyer led Lawrence University. Cyra Bammer contributed 14 digs for the Vikings while Sydney Nelson had 12 assists and Lauren Ray 10 assists and 10 digs.

UW-Oshkosh is off until beginning its conference schedule at 16th-ranked UW-Whitewater on Sept. 21.

Photo courtesy of Paul Wilke, Lawrence University Athletics