UW-Oshkosh's Rachel Gardner eclipsed a career milestone and led all players with 26 digs, but the Millikin University (Ill.) women's volleyball team held on for a 3-2 win over the Titans on Friday (Oct. 25) in Bloomington, Ill.
Millikin University (17-10) defeated UW-Oshkosh (19-8) in set scores of 25-19, 24-26, 25-18, 21-25, 15-8 to avenge the Big Blue's 3-1 loss to the Titans last season in Tacoma, Wash. UW-Oshkosh is now 2-3 in five-set matches on the year.
The Big Blue's Lauren Brummel had a match-high 23 points and 22 kills on .432 hitting while Rose Syversen recorded a triple-double with 12 kills, 54 assists and a team-leading 18 digs.
Marissa McElroy and Tori Stuart added 16 and 12 kills, respectively for Millikin University.
Samantha Jaeke paced UW-Oshkosh 18.5 points and 18 kills on .310 hitting. Jaeke led the Titans in kills for the 18th time this season.
Gardner surpassed 2,000 career digs during the fourth set Friday to become the first Titan to accomplish the feat since Mandy Trautmann 2015.
Shelby Coron chipped in eight kills on 32 errorless attempts for the Titans who also received 26 assists and nine digs from Emma Kiekhofer, 16 assists and 11 digs from Rebecca Doughty, and 11 points and a career high-tying 10 blocks from Taylor Allen. Doughty's double-double was her fourth of the year and 10th career.
Millikin University concluded the contest with advantages of 75-49 in kills, .263 to .194 in hitting percentage, 85-75 in digs and 8-4 in aces. UW-Oshkosh held a 10-7 edge in blocks.
The Big Blue never trailed in the opening set, building leads of 13-6 and 19-9 en route to hitting .429 during the frame.
The Titans overcame a 16-11 deficit in the second set behind a 6-1 run that knotted the score at 17 following a kill by Allen. UW-Oshkosh reclaimed a 21-20 lead after consecutive kills from Coron, Doughty and Carissa Sundholm before a Sundholm ace provided a 24-23 advantage. Brummel answered with a kill to tie the score for the Big Blue, but back-to-back kills from Jaeke on the ensuing two points evened the match.
Millikin University pounded down 18 kills and hit .361 during a third set that ended with two straight aces by Sarah Porter.
UW-Oshkosh did not trail in the fourth set after tying the score at 6 on a Big Blue attack error. Clinging to a 20-19 lead, the Titans scored two points in a row via another Millikin University attack error and a Jaeke kill. An Allen termination provided set-point for UW-Oshkosh at 24-21, and the Titans sent the match to a fifth set on a double-block from Allen and Rachel Aasby.
Millikin University took control of the final set early, scoring the first three points on a pair of Brummel kills and a Titan attack error. The Big Blue held an 8-5 lead at the side change and created separation with three consecutive kills, including two by Brummel, for a 12-7 cushion. UW-Oshkosh pulled within four points following a Kate Nottoli kill, but the Big Blue earned the win with two kills from McElroy and an ace by Julianna Vassallo on match-point.
UW-Oshkosh remains in Bloomington to face Augustana College (Ill.) and host Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday (Oct. 26).