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Titans Have Little Trouble In WIAC Opener

Rachel Aasby had seven kills and three digs during UW-Oshkosh's WIAC season-opening win over UW-La Crosse.
Rachel Aasby had seven kills and three digs during UW-Oshkosh's WIAC season-opening win over UW-La Crosse.

Carissa Sundholm had a season- and match-high nine kills, Rachel Gardner led all players with 18 digs and UW-Oshkosh cruised to a 3-0 victory over UW-La Crosse during the WIAC opener Wednesday (Sept. 18) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh (7-3, 1-0 WIAC) defeated UW-La Crosse (4-6, 0-1) in set scores of 25-14, 25-18, 25-18. Each of the Titans' seven wins this season have been sweeps.

Sundholm, who accounted for 10 points and hit .391 on 23 errorless swings, added 11 digs for UW-Oshkosh, which picked up its second straight win over the Eagles. The Titans won the previous meeting between the teams, 3-1, in the opening round of the 2018 WIAC Championship in La Crosse as UW-Oshkosh became the first sixth-seeded team since 1997 to win a league tournament match.

Samantha Jaeke had eight kills for the Titans while Rachel Aasby contributed seven kills, Shelby Coron chipped in six and Taylor Allen had five. Allen paced UW-Oshkosh with two blocks.

Emma Kiekhofer dished out 16 assists and registered a match-best three service aces for the Titans. Rebecca Doughty contributed 11 assists while co-directing the UW-Oshkosh offense.

UW-Oshkosh outhit the Eagles, .211 to .070, as the Titans limited UW-La Crosse to a .000 hitting percentage in the first set and .062 during the third. The Titans also owned advantages of 38-28 in kills, 35-27 in assists, 59-52 in digs and 7-1 in service aces. Both teams had three blocks.

The Titans never trailed during the opening set, jumping out to leads of 10-4 and 20-9. Six different UW-Oshkosh players notched kills in the first frame, including Coron and Jaeke both with three. UW-Oshkosh reached set-point at 24-12, and Sundholm capped the frame four points later with her first kill of the match.

UW-La Crosse scored the first four points of the second set until Aasby concluded a string of five Titan points in a row for a 5-4 edge. Tied for the seventh and final time at 10, Gardner's service ace gave UW-Oshkosh the lead for good before back-to-back kills from Sundholm and Kendall Enyart extended the advantage to 13-10. A combination block from Aasby and Allen upped the Titan cushion to 19-13, and Sundholm later clinched the set with a kill.

UW-Oshkosh erased its final deficit of the match when Aasby's kill gave the Titans a 2-1 lead. Consecutive Coron kills extended the cushion to 16-9 before Jaeke concluded the match with a termination.

Emma Lawrence paced UW-La Crosse with eight kills on .065 hitting.

Abbey Fox had a match-high 22 assists and 10 digs for the Eagles, who also received 10 digs from Sophie Quelle and six kills by Anna Rossner.

UW-Oshkosh plays nationally ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) and Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday (Sept. 20) in Stevens Point. University of St. Thomas is ranked 18th in the NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.