Volleyball splits 2-2 in Oshkosh Tournament

Story by Emily Gresbrink

The women’s volleyball team ended their pre-season with two wins and two losses in the Oshkosh Tournament this past weekend.

Freshman Alexis Wong said it was a challenge and “hard to lose” two matches, but added it was an opportunity to learn.

“(We can) see what we have to work on, get stronger and know … what we have to do to get on top next time,” she said.

Coach Kim Wudi said the girls played well in the two winning games.

“We’re always happy to get a win,” she said. “We had a little passing funk (in the second match against Wisconsin Lutheran), but the way (the girls) responded to that was positive — they played solid and that made up for it.”

The two day tournament consisted of four other teams besides the Blugolds  Ripon College (Wisc.), Wisconsin Lutheran College, UW-Oshkosh and
Elmhurst (Ill.).

On Friday, the Blugolds faced Ripon College and Wisconsin Lutheran. The team went 3-0 against Ripon and 3-1 against Wisconsin Lutheran. Highlights include senior Liz Amici leading the Blugolds with 13 of 44 total kills and junior Emily Neave having 37 of the 41 set assists against Ripon. In the Wisconsin Lutheran game, sophomore Kelly Schuh lead with 13 kills; Amici finished with 10. Sophomore Lauren Sutherland also set a career-high
with 23 digs.

Additionally, junior Amy Bomgren recorded double figures in kills during the Ripon game (10 total) and said the Blugolds played “really well” as
a team.

“We … took care of business,” she said. “We just kind of dominated.”

However, Saturday’s matches ended in the two losses for the weekend.

“The match against (UW-Oshkosh) was really close,” Wudi said. “Either team could have won that match … (and) there were a few things we could have fixed.”

All three matches the Blugolds lost against the Titans were within three points, as was the one victory. Facing Elmhurst, the Blugolds lost the first two matches as well as the last. Sutherland hit a career high of 30 digs on Elmhurst and four Blugolds broke 10 kills against Oshkosh.

“(Oshkosh) is a very good team and they forced us to step up and play better volleyball,” Wudi added.

The Blugolds ended their pre-WIAC conference season standing at 6-8. With the team now entering the conference games, Wong said she is excited to see how these games play out.

“This is my first year (on the team) and I want to see how (the upperclassmen) handle themselves (during conference),” she said.  “I’m really excited that I’m able to play.”

Wudi said one benefit of the Oshkosh tournament was learning and knowing they can compete with
any team.

“We looked at what’s preventing us — what we need to do is practice in the gym as well as the intangible things,” she said. “We committed to focusing on those things … I think we have a lot of confidence going to (conference). We need to come out there and play every game … as hard as
we can.”

One goal, Wudi added, was to go 1-0 for every conference game for the remainder of the season.

“(You) really have to bring your best for that one match,” she said. “You don’t get a do-over and I think … we will be successful if we do that.”

Bomgren stated that she is looking forward to playing teams they are familiar with (in the conference).

“We don’t want to look at any other matches other than the one ahead of us; conference is such a big deal and we’re just going to go in strong,” she said. “It’s going to be a really fun rest of the season.”