The 2016-17 UW-Oshkosh athletic season was one for the record books. Six teams headed to the NCAA postseason, while eight other programs had individuals reach the NCAA postseason.
The football team reached the National Championship game for the first time in school history, the softball program made it to the NCAA Championship Super Regional for the first time since 1988 and the women’s basketball team made a splash in the NCAA Championship Sweet Sixteen for the second time in four years.
Get a quick glimpse at how all the Titan teams did this past season:
Women’s Cross Country
The Titans women’s cross country team made its second straight and 27th overall appearance in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship. They earned the at-large berth by placing at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. At the championship, UWO ranked 16th, claiming its 23rd top 16 national finish.
Junior Cheyenne Moore ran to the individual title at the WIAC Women’s Cross Country Championship as the Titans finished second. Moore became the ninth UWO runner to earn the WIAC individual title and first since 2012. She went on to place 45th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship.
Men’s Cross Country
The UW-Oshkosh men’s cross country team had yet another strong season. The Titans repeated as the Griak Invitational Champion, with Charlend Howard and Tyler Miletti finishing second and third, respectively. UWO went on to place fourth at the WIAC Men’s Cross Country Championship. Meletti posted a career-best sixth place finish, while Howard finished 14th.
Miletti and Howard went on to finish among the top 25 runners at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional and the Titans placed seventh as a team. Meletti’s 13th place finish at the regional earned him an automatic berth into the Division III Men’s Cross Country Championship. The senior took 114th at the championship.
Howard capped off the great cross country season by being named the 2016 recipient of the WIAC Max Sparger Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete Award.
The Titan football team had an exciting ride in 2016, not soon to be forgotten. UWO reached the NCAA Division III Football Championship for the first time in school history. The Titans, who finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and second in the WIAC, earned their third-ever berth into the football championship as an at-large bid.
UW-Oshkosh rattled off post-season wins over Washington University, Saint John’s University and the University of St. Thomas before hosting John Carroll University in the semifinal round. A hard fought 10-3 victory over the Blue Streaks catapulted the Titans to their inaugural Alonzo Stagg Bowl appearance. The most successful season in UW-Oshkosh football history concluded with a 10-7 setback to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas).
The Titans ended the year with a 13-2 mark. Reese Dziedzic, Johnny Eagan and Vincent Basile were each named All-Americans for the 2016 season by D3football.com.
The UW-Oshkosh women’s golf team played in six tournaments during the 2016 fall season, placing in the top five in all but one. The Titans won the UW-Oshkosh Titan Classic and placed second at the UW-Whitewater Invitational, at the Mad Dawg Invitational and at the WIAC Women’s Golf Championship.
Looking to repeat as the WIAC Women’s Golf Champions, UWO fell just shy, placing second to champion UW-Stout. Kayla Priebe finished third at the championship, with both Micayla Richards and Laura Stair placing fifth.
Priebe earned WIAC Player of the Year honors and all-region honors by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA). She became the second consecutive Titan and third player in program history to claim conference Player of the Year laurels.
The Titans women’s soccer team posted their eighth-consecutive winning season, closing out the year with a 10-9-1 record.
UWO finished fourth in the WIAC race and reached the semifinal round of the WIAC Championship. The Titans pulled out an exciting 3-2 overtime win over UW-Stout in the WIAC first round before falling to eventual winner UW-Whitewater in the semifinal.
Senior Robyn Elliott became the first four-time All-WIAC first team selection in the history of the Titan women’s soccer program and the only four-time NCAA Division III All-North Region honoree.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Robert Henshaw, the UW-Oshkosh women’s tennis team posted seven wins, including three in WIAC regular-season play.
The Titans went on to capture fourth place at the WIAC Women’s Tennis Championship for the seventh consecutive season. Individually, UWO had fourth place finishers in six of the nine flights of competition. Finishing fourth for UWO in the individual competition were Bailey Sagen, Alyssa Leffler, Hannah Peters and Samantha Koppa.
The Titans made it to the semifinal round of the WIAC Team Tournament before falling to UW-Whitewater.
The Titan women’s volleyball team made its 17th appearance in the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship after receiving an at-large bid this fall. UW-Oshkosh grabbed the at-large berth after finishing in a three-way tie for first place in the WIAC standings, marking the Titans’ second straight and 12th overall league title.
UWO finished the 2016 campaign with a 28-8 overall mark and was led by All-WIAC first team selections Tina Elstner and Samantha Jaeke and honorable mention all-league performers Carly Lemke, Lexi Thiel and Narissa Voght.
Jaeke also was tabbed the NCAA Division III Midwest Region Freshman of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). She became UWO’s fifth Midwest Region Freshman of the Year and first since 2009.
The Titan men’s basketball team made its second straight and seventh overall NCAA postseason appearance in 2016-17. UWO received one of 21 at-large berths to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship after placing second in the WIAC standings and finishing as the runner-up in the league tournament.
The Titans season came to an end in a hard-fought 87-85 setback at Hope College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Titans closed out the year with a 17-11 overall record and were led by All-WIAC first team honorees Charlie Noone and Ben Boots and All-WIAC Defensive Team member Taylor Jansen.
The UW-Oshkosh women’s basketball team put together an extraordinary season in 2016-17. The Titans earned a bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship for the fourth-straight season and reached the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in four years.
The Titans also won their first outright WIAC regular season crown since 1999, reached 20-plus wins for the fifth consecutive season and racked up 26 overall wins; tied for fourth most wins in a season in school history.
UWO head coach Brad Fischer–who eclipsed 100 career wins at UWO–was tabbed the WIAC Coach of the Year, while Taylor Schmidt earned WIAC Player of the Year honors, the first Titan to garner the award since 1998. Schmidt also was named NCAA Division III All-American honorable mention.
The Titan women’s gymnastics team placed sixth at the WIAC Women’s Gymnastics Championship, with Baylee Tkaczuk capturing first place on the balance beam, becoming the second UWO gymnast to win the event in four season.
Tkaczuk went on to take first place on the uneven bars to lead UW-Oshkosh’s three All-America performances at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championship. Jessica Bernardo earned her All-America award by finishing second in the all-around competition and Dana LoCascio achieved All-America recognition by finishing fifth on the balance beam.
Men’s Swimming and Diving
The UW-Oshkosh men’s swimming and diving team defeated both Ripon College and Carroll University during the regular season. The Titans went on to place fifth at the WIAC Championship.
Women’s Swimming and Diving
The Titan women’s swimming and diving team, who defeated Ripon College and tied Carroll University during the regular season, placed fifth at the WIAC Championship.
UWO’s Gabrielle Kraus went on to participate at the NCAA Division III Women’s Central Region Diving Championship. She finished 13th in the 3-meter diving and 19th in the 1-meter division.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field
The Titan men’s indoor track & field team placed fifth at the WIAC Indoor Championship. Justin Skinkis was the 800-meter champion, while Joe Zack finished second in the mile run. Ryan Powers also claimed second place in the 400-meter dash and Devan Gertschen took second in the pole vault.
Roberto Lara earned All-America honors after placing fifth in the mile at the NCAA Division III Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championship. Gertschen, Powers and Zach finished ninth in their respective event and just one place out of the All-America category.
Women’s Track & Field
The Titan women’s indoor track & field team placed third at the WIAC Indoor Championship. Kristen Linzmeier and Emily Reichenberger both won an event and ranked second in another to lead UWO to its third-place finish. Linzmeier captured first place in the mile run and was second in the 800-meter run, while Reichenberger sprinted to the 60-meter dash victory and place second in the 200-meter dash. The final victory for the Titans came from Erica Munyan in the 3000-meter run. Reichenberger was also tabbed the Track Performer of the Meet.
Linzmeier and Reichenberger went on to receive All-America honors at the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship. Linzmeier finished seventh in the 800-meter run and Reichenberger earned her second indoor All-America citation by finishing eighth in the 60-mter dash.
The UW-Oshkosh wrestling team finished sixth in the team standings at the WIAC Wrestling Championship. Mark Choinski became just the third Titan champion since 1999 when he won the 157-pound weight class at the championship. Titan Kody Azarian advanced to the final of his weight class and took second.
Both Azarian and Choinski earned trips to the NCAA Division III Championship, with Choinski finishing sixth in his weight class to earn All-America recognition. The sophomore became the 11th UW-Oshkosh wrestler to receive NCAA Division III All-America accolades and 20th overall.
The Titan baseball team finished the regular season tied for second place in the WIAC baseball standings with an 11-9 conference mark. It was the best finish in league play for UW-Oshkosh since 2009 when the Titans were crowned tri-champions.
Overall, UWO closed out the year with a 22-20 overall record and had four players named to the All-WIAC Baseball First Team. Johnny Eagan, Tyler Kozlowski, Jack Paulson and Colan Tremi were each tabbed to the first team, while Andy Brahier, Alex Koch, Nick McLees and Jesse Sustachek garnered honorable mention accolades.
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
The UW-Oshkosh men’s outdoor track & field team placed fifth at the WIAC Outdoor Championship. Danny Trimner won the 400-meter hurdles and Devan Gertschen won the pole vault.
Gertschen, Trimner and Ryan Powers each represented the Titans at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship for the second straight year, while Joe Zack was a first-time qualifier. Trimner and Powers each earned All-America accolades after finishing fifth in the 400-meter hurdles and eighth in the 400-meter run, respectively.
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
The Titan women’s outdoor track & field team placed fifth at the WIAC Outdoor Championship. Erica Munyan won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished second in the 5000-meter run, while Elizabeth Abhold won the hammer throw for the second consecutive season.
Abhold, Kristen Linzmeier, Munyan and Isabella Samuels each qualified for the NCAA Division III Women’s Track & Field Outdoor Championship. Samuels placed 12th in the shot put to lead the four entrants, while Abhold finished her career placing 16th in the hammer, Linzmeier took 15th in the 800-meter run and Munyan finished 13th in 3000-meter steeplechase.
The UW-Oshkosh softball team had one of the most memorable seasons in history in 2017. The Titans returned to the NCAA softball postseason for the first time since 2008 after receiving an at-large berth into the 62-team Division III Championship. They went on to claim their second-ever NCAA Division III softball regional championship and first since 1988 when they swept through the La Crosse regional with a 3-0 record. UW-Oshkosh’s longest postseason run in nearly 10 years concluded in the Angola Super Regional.
Titan catcher Abby Menting and third baseman Erika Berry were named to the NCAA Division III All-Great Lakes Region Team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), with Menting also being tabbed to the NCAA Division III softball Academic All-District 6 Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).