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Titans Achieve Mixed Outcomes

Tina Elstner has totaled eight or more kills during each of her last eight matches.
Tina Elstner has totaled eight or more kills during each of her last eight matches.

Tina Elstner had a team-leading 17 kills to go along with 11 digs on the day as the UW-Oshkosh volleyball team split a pair of 3-0 decisions at the Concordia University Wisconsin Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 20) in Mequon.

UW-Oshkosh (15-13) suffered a three-set loss to nationally ranked Illinois Wesleyan University in set scores of 16-25, 20-25, 21-25 before rebounding with a sweep over Cardinal Stritch University in scores of 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 by hitting a season-high .261. UW-Oshkosh had its season-best four-match and 11-set winning streaks end.

Illinois Wesleyan University (19-5), ranked 15th in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, extended its school-record winning streak to 14 consecutive matches. Illinois Wesleyan University, which also swept UW-Oshkosh last season, improved its record to 4-16 in the all-time series.

UW-Oshkosh and NAIA member Cardinal Stritch University met for just the second time and first since a 3-0 win by UW-Oshkosh in 1995.

Elstner, who was named to the eight-member Concordia University Wisconsin All-Tournament team, paced the Titans with eight kills against Illinois Wesleyan University and nine terminations against Cardinal Stritch University. Elstner has led the Titans in kills each of the past five matches.

Samantha Jaeke added 14 kills – seven in both matches – on .414 hitting Saturday for the Titans, who also received 11 kills and eight blocks from Taylor Allen, 21 digs and nine assists from Rachel Gardner, 25 assists from Rebecca Doughty, and 20 assists from Emma Kiekhofer.

In the three-set win over Cardinal Stritch University, all 17 Titans received playing time as UW-Oshkosh owned advantages in kills (44-33), hitting percentage (.261 to .228), assists (42-30), service aces (6-5), digs (50-45) and blocks (5-4).

UW-Oshkosh produced 16 kills in both of the first two sets and hit at least .227 during each frame.

The Titans claimed leads for good at 18-17 in the first set and 11-10 during the second before overcoming a 17-12 deficit in the third.

Jaeke hit .462 in the match while adding six assists and eight digs.

Nine different Titans notched kills, including seven in two sets from McKenna Scott, five on five attempts by Allen and five apiece from Carly Lemke and Renee Rush. Ellie Wanous chipped in three kills on five errorless attempts in one set played. Allen recorded a match-best three blocks.

Gardner compiled a team-high 10 digs with. Doughty and Kiekhofer had 15 and nine assists, respectively, while co-piloting the Titan offense. Gardner, who has collected at least 10 digs in 25 of UW-Oshkosh's 28 matches this season, has produced a team-leading dig total 25 times on the year.

Cardinal Stritch University (14-16) jumped out to a 9-5 lead before UW-Oshkosh scored six of the next eight points to knot the score at 11 following a kill and a service ace from Lemke on consecutive points. A Gardner service gave the Titans a 17-16 edge, and UW-Oshkosh reclaimed the lead for good at 18-17 after a kill by Shelby Coron. Clinging to a 22-21 advantage, the Titans tallied three of the final four points on a pair of Elstner kills and a termination by Rush on set-point.

The Titans scored five straight points in the second set for a 14-10 cushion and never looked back. The decisive run was sparked by two Jaeke kills and a Lemke service ace, and ended with a pair of attack errors by the Wolves. UW-Oshkosh increased its lead to 21-14 following back-to-back kills by Scott before eventually taking a two-set advantage on a Wolves' service error.

Cardinal Stritch University raced out to a 9-4 lead in the third set, but UW-Oshkosh rallied to tie the score at 18 after two kills in a row by Scott and reclaimed a 19-18 edge after a service ace from Samantha Silbernagel. Trailing 22-21, the Titans got a kill from Wanous and a service ace from Scott to take a 23-22 lead. UW-Oshkosh reached match-point on an Elstner kill and concluded the contest on a solo block from Allen.

The Wolves' Maida Wolff had a match-best 11 kills on .400 hitting. Mary Bowe added seven kills and a team-high 11 digs for Cardinal Stritch University.

Breeana Reid dished out 13 assists and Alyssa Downing chipped in 11 while sharing setting duties for the Wolves.

During the setback to Illinois Wesleyan University, the Titans from the Land of Lincoln concluded the contest with considerable advantages in kills (44-29), hitting percentage (.262 to .106), assists (40-27) and digs (47-38). UW-Oshkosh owned a 7-4 edge in blocks.

UW-Oshkosh held two-time First Team All-American Tyler Brown to seven kills and a .000 hitting percentage, but Illinois Wesleyan University's Rachel Burkman produced a match-leading 12 kills, Heidi Dague added nine terminations on 13 errorless swings and Jessica McCall had seven kills on 14 attempts.

Amber Juarez amassed a match-high 14 digs for Illinois Wesleyan University. Leah Seielstad and Madi Corey had 17 and 16 assists, respectively, for the Titans from Illinois.

Jaeke registered seven kills on .375 hitting for the Titans, who also received six kills and a match-leading five blocks from Allen.

UW-Oshkosh's offense featured 11 assists from Kiekhofer and 10 by Doughty while its defense was led by Gardner's 11 digs.

Illinois Wesleyan University trailed for the opening point of the match before building leads of 9-2 and 20-10 during the opening set. UW-Oshkosh then forged a pair of ties in the second frame, but consecutive kills from Brown and McCall gave Illinois Wesleyan University an 11-9 advantage it would not relinquish.

UW-Oshkosh scored five unanswered points for a 16-13 advantage in the third set. The scoring run was highlighted by a kill from Rush and a service ace by Elstner. However, Illinois Wesleyan University responded with six points in a row of its own to retake a 19-16 lead. UW-Oshkosh pulled within 19-18 following a service ace by Kendall Enyart, but back-to-back kills by Burkman and Bev Ryan pushed Illinois Wesleyan University's lead to 23-19, and the teams traded the final four points.

UW-Oshkosh returns home to host UW-Platteville Wednesday (Oct. 24) for the Titans' last regular season home match of the year in Kolf Sports Center.