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2017 News
UW-Oshkosh Falls in National Quarterfinals (4-16-17)
The UW-Oshkosh men’s volleyball team went 6-1 at the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Division I national championship to finish fifth out of 48 teams last weekend (April 13-15) in Kansas City, Mo. With the loss in the quarterfinals, the Titans magical run of three straight national crowns came to an end.

UW-Oshkosh (41-5) came into the tournament as the number two seed and finished 3-0 in its opening pool with a 25-14, 25-19 win over the University of California-Berkeley, a 25-23, 25-19 victory over the University of Cincinnati and a 25-19, 15-25, 15-9 win over #23 University of Missouri. The Titans won its initial pool for the 14th time in its last 15 years at the national championship.

In the win over the Golden Bears, Peter Nordel (Sr. – Torrance, Calif.) had six kills in eight attempts and Sammy Pedersen (Sr. – Muskego) added six kills and one solo block. Travis Hudson (Sr. – Wauwatosa) dished out 19 assists and added five kills, seven digs and two blocks and Jake Martin (So. – New Lenox, Ill.) scooped up eight digs. Wesley Morioka (Sr. – Chicago, Ill.) tallied two service aces to pace the Titans.

Brandon Schmidt (Gr. – Kaukauna) led the Titans with eight kills and added two blocks against the Bearcats. Nick Davies (Fr. – Waukesha) and Nordel slammed down seven kills each and Martin piled up ten digs. Morioka had five kills, eight digs and one service ace and Hudson collected 21 assists and eight digs.

Nordel had 10 kills on 11 attempts and five blocks in the Titans win over the Tigers. Hudson ran the offense with 22 assists and had four digs and Davies provided four blocks. Schmidt had nine kills and Martin had five digs.

On Friday, the Titans beat the University of Notre Dame, 25-19, 25-20 and squeaked by #15 Air Force Academy 25-22, 23-25, 15-13 to reach the Gold Bracket for the 14th time since 2003. On Saturday, UW-Oshkosh dominated the University of Pittsburgh, 25-10, 25-15 before losing to #7 The Ohio State University 25-20, 15-25, 15-12 in heartbreaking fashion.

Led with seven kills by Nordel, six Titans had more than three kills as the Titans hit .411 in the match against the Irish. Hudson amassed 22 assists, two service aces and four kills and Martin had nine digs. Davies added six kills, Joe Kuchler (Sr. – Muskego) had two service aces and Tony D’Acquisto (So. – Franklin) led the team with two solo blocks.

In its win over the Falcons, Nordel topped the team with nine kills, Schmidt added eight and D’Acquisto and Morioka had six each. Hudson paced the offense with 29 assists and had four blocks which tied D’Acquisto for the team lead at the net. Michael Wamboldt (Sr. – Pleasant Prairie) had five digs to lead the Titans.

Schmidt led the team with six kills and Nordel had five kills in the rout of the Panthers. Hudson provided 21 assists, two service aces, four digs and two blocks, Davies had four blocks including three solo stuffs and Morioka had three service aces.

In its quarterfinals loss the Titans ran into a buzz saw from the opponent’s service line as the hard serving Buckeyes had seven service aces. Hudson capped his fantastic career with six kills, 20 assists, two service aces, four digs and four blocks. Nordel slammed down seven kills in eight attempts and D’Acquisto added five kills on seven errorless attempts. Martin scooped up nine digs, D’Acquisto added three blocks and Davies had two service aces.

With its finish, the Titans have placed fifth or better 13 out of the last 15 years at the national tournament, including six national titles and two runner-up finishes.

“Our expectation in our program is to come home as champions ever year but it wasn’t in the cards this season,” said head coach Brian Schaefer. “Our players have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a phenomenal year overcoming many injuries and key losses to graduation. We went toe-to-toe with a great team and earlier this year beat the eventual national champion at the Las Vegas Open. I am proud of our team and their accomplishments.”

Hudson and Nordel were named First Team and Honorable Mention All-Americans at the conclusion of the tournament, respectively. Hudson added his fourth All-American award after being named the national player of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and this is Nordel’s second nod after being an All-American at UC-San Diego his freshman year.

The 2017 season capped the careers of Hudson, Kuchler, Morioka and Wamboldt. “Words will never describe what these young men have given to the UW-Oshkosh program,” added Schaefer. “They are fantastic student-athletes and have made their mark in the long history of our team.”



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