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Titans Swept By Nationally Ranked Blugolds

Taylor Allen hit .500 with seven kills against the Blugolds.
Taylor Allen hit .500 with seven kills against the Blugolds.

Madelyn Pashibin had a match-high 11 kills and Makenzie Bachmann 10 as nationally ranked UW-Eau Claire defeated the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team, 3-0, on Friday (Sept. 28) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Eau Claire (14-1, 3-0 WIAC), ranked 17th in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, won the match in set scores of 25-18, 25-13, 25-18. The Blugolds extended their winning streak to nine straight contests.

UW-Oshkosh (9-9, 0-3 WIAC), playing its second nationally ranked conference rival in the span of three days, fell to the Blugolds for the second time in the past five meetings.

UW-Eau Claire finished Friday's contest with advantages in kills (39-30), hitting percentage (.288 to .090), assists (32-29), service aces (6-2), digs (50-45) and blocks (5-0). UW-Eau Claire went into the week third in the country with 13.23 assists per set and fifth nationally with 13.88 kills per set, and UW-Oshkosh was among the top 15 teams with 120 blocks.

Madison Surprise had 29 assists while directing the UW-Eau Claire offense. The Blugolds' Taylor Scalia led all players with 17 digs.

Taylor Allen and Carly Lemke paced UW-Oshkosh with seven kills apiece.

Rebecca Doughty and Emma Kiekhofer dished out 15 and 12 assists, respectively, for the Titans while Rachel Gardner had a team-leading 13 digs.

UW-Oshkosh scored three of the first four points of the match before UW-Eau Claire claimed a 6-3 first-set advantage it would not relinquish. The Titans cut their deficit to 9-8 on a kill from Allen, but the Blugolds put the set away with six unanswered points, including two on kills by Krista Meyer, for a 15-8 lead. A Samantha Jaeke kill pulled the Titans within 19-16, but UW-Eau Claire notched five of the final seven points, including bak-to-back kills from Pashibin to cap the set.

The Blugolds raced out to a 12-1 lead in the second set behind the serve of Arianna Barrett, who finished the match with four kills and 11 digs. The set-opening scoring run included a pair of kills from Bachmann and a double-block by Bachmann and Abby Volk as UW-Eau Claire did not commit an attack error and hit .367 during the frame.

UW-Oshkosh responded with the first four points of the third set on a Lemke kill and three UW-Eau Claire errors, but the Blugolds reclaimed the lead for good at 6-5 following a kill from Barrett. Leading just 13-12 after a service ace from UW-Oshkosh's Becky Brezen and a Blugold attack error, UW-Eau Claire rattled off five straight points for an 18-12 advantage and led by at least five the rest of the way.

Jaeke concluded the match with five kills for the Titans, who also received four terminations apiece from Tina Elstner and Renee Rush.

UW-Oshkosh, which suffered a 3-0 setback at 25th-ranked UW-Whitewater on Wednesday (Sept. 26), continues a stretch of three consecutive matches against nationally ranked teams next Friday (Oct. 5) at eighth-ranked Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.).