Tina Elstner led the Titans in kills during both matches as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team split a pair of 3-0 decisions at the UW-Whitewater Invitational on Friday (Oct. 21).
Carthage College defeated UW-Oshkosh, 3-0, by set scores of 25-16, 26-24, 32-30. The Titans, ranked 22nd in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, responded with a 3-0 victory over Loras College (Iowa) by set results of 25-14, 25-23, 25-23.
Carthage College (14-10) has won its last three matches over UW-Oshkosh (22-6) and six of the last seven meetings in the series while the Titans have won nine of their last 10 matchups with Loras College (10-14).
Elstner collected 10 kills in the loss to Carthage College and 15 terminations in the victory over Loras College. She added 12 digs against Loras College for her ninth double-double of the year.
The Titans, who entered the weekend leading the country with 260.5 blocks and 2.74 blocks per set, had a 9-5 blocking advantage against Carthage College but were out-blocked by a 8-7 count against Loras College.
In the loss to Carthage College, the Lady Reds held significant advantages in kills (50-36), hitting percentage (.244 to .131) and digs (66-46). Carthage pounded down 17 kills during both of the first two sets and 16 in the final frame as the Lady Reds hit .500 in the opening set.
Carthage College's Stephanie Korbakes led all players with 15 kills on 30 attempts.
Shannon Kebisek and Rachael Kisten chipped in seven kills apiece for the Lady Red, who also received 21 assists and 15 digs from Abigail McGowan, 20 assists from Ellie LeCount and a match-high 23 digs from Luci Krenzke.
The Lady Reds raced out to a 12-3 lead in the opening set and maintain a lead of at least seven points for the remainder of the frame.
The Titans claimed their first lead of the match at 3-2 in the second set before extending the advantage to 14-8 on a service ace by Elstner. Trailing 17-11, Carthage College scored five consecutive points on three kills, one service ace and one Titan error to pull within 17-16. The Lady Reds pulled even at 22 on a kill by Kebisek, but UW-Oshkosh notched the following two points to reach set-point at 24-22. Kills by Korbakes and Mallory Parsons knotted the score at 24, and the Lady Reds claimed the set with a kill by Korbakes and a Titan attack error.
UW-Oshkosh held a 19-16 advantage in the final set, but Carthage College answered with six straight points on two kills and four Titan errors to reclaim a 22-19 lead. UW-Oshkosh fended off three consecutive match-points to tie the score at 24 behind a Lady Reds error and kills from Shannon Herman and Carly Lemke. A combination block by Herman and Lemke gave the Titans a 25-24 edge, but a UW-Oshkosh attack error evened the score at 25. The Titans denied four more match-points at 27-27, 28-27, 29-28 and 30-29 on a pair of kills by Lemke and two Lady Reds errors, but Carthage College converted its eighth match-point as UW-Oshkosh, which hit just .075 in the final frame, committed errors on the last two points.
Herman recorded nine kills and Lemke eight terminations on 19 errorless attempts. Lexi Thiel amassed a match-best 30 while piloting the UW-Oshkosh offense while Rachel Gardner paced the Titan back row with 12 digs.
During the victory over Loras College, the Titans limited the Duhawks to a .074 hitting percentage while owning narrow advantages in kills (37-34) and service aces (5-3). Loras College hit at a -.037 rate with 12 attack errors in the third set.
Thiel notched her 30th career double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs for the Titans.
Gardner led four Titans with 17 digs and Laura Trochinski chipped in 14.
UW-Oshkosh outhit Loras College, .353 to .061, in the first set and won the second frame despite being outhit, .208 to .098.
The Titans tallied five consecutive points to take a 5-1 lead in the first set before extending their advantage to 10-3 on a service ace by Brianna Witter. A string of seven straight points gave UW-Oshkosh a 16-8 cushion as Elstner contributed three kills during the skein.
UW-Oshkosh scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second set on the strength of six kills and a pair of service aces by Brianna Venturini. The Titans held a 24-18 lead before the Duhawks erased five set-points. Clinging to a 24-23 edge, Jaeke recorded a kill to provide the Titans a 2-0 lead.
Loras College bolted to a 9-3 lead in the final set, but three consecutive kills and a Duhawk error pulled the Titans within 9-7. Trailing 11-8, UW-Oshkosh took its first lead of the frame with a nine-point skein for a 17-11 advantage. The Titans' decisive run featured four blocks, just one kill and four more Duhawk errors. Loras College rebuffed five straight match-points to pull within 24-22, but Thiel set Lemke for a kill to end the contest.
The Duhawk offense was led by eight kills from Michelle Budden and seven apiece from Danni Kennedy and Therese Schultz. Kennedy and Budden added five and four blocks, respectively.
Loras College's Claire Ritchie had 16 digs, 12 assists and six kills while Haley Bergan registered a match-high 21 digs.
UW-Oshkosh concludes play at the UW-Whitewater Invitational against 16th-ranked Elmhurst College on Saturday (Oct. 22).