Warhawks look to recapture glory of 2014 season

WHITEWATER, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin | Whitewater baseball team sat atop the mountain of one of the greatest seasons in Warhawk athletics history. It was the 2014 season and they had defeated Emory University to win the title of division III National Champions.

Fast forward three seasons and the Warhawks are once again poised to make another deep playoff run. No, the football team didn’t win the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl (Mary Hardin-Baylor over UW | Oshkosh). No, the basketball team wasn’t crowned champions (Babson over Augustana). But Warhawk baseball coach John Vodenlich and his staff are keeping their crew hungry as they get ready to take on UW | Oshkosh for the beginning of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. — a team they’ve beaten four times already this season.

“One of my mentors used to say ‘I may be old school; some call me new school; but I definitely have to stay in school,'” Vodenlich said Monday afternoon. “If you’re not trying to get better, if you’re not trying to grow…then things are stagnant.”

Six of this year’s seniors were freshman the last time the Warhawks hoisted the DIII championship trophy, hoping to depart the same way they arrived — as champions. Infielder Steve Chamberlain leads that senior group in batting average (.361), home runs (7), RBI (35), and fielding percentage (.972).

Vodenlich described this year’s Warhawks as the best pitching crew he’s had since “probably the 2004 season,” but he’s also not putting championship expectations on them, despite heading into the WIAC Tournament as conference champions of the regular season.

“National championships are tough to get,” Vodenlich said. “There [are] years where we’ve had great teams and a play or two, or a game or two go the wrong way and it just doesn’t happen for you. I’m proud to say I’ve been to the College World Series seven times…most of those guys are back. For them, getting back there and performing better has been the goal since we ended the [2016] season.”

Vodenlich added that the key for his team entering the WIAC Tournament is for them to get past any mistakes they make and focus on improving in the coming moments of the game.

Whitewater will host Oshkosh in the first round Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Jim Miller Stadium, followed by their second round game that afternoon or evening.

Whitewater falls, Oshkosh advances in D3 quarterfinals

MADISON, Wis. — The journey back to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl has ended for UW — Whitewater, falling 31-14 to John Carroll, while UW — Oshkosh’s hopes at a national title remain alive after a 34-31 win over St. Thomas.

John Carroll controlled the pace of the game against Whitewater, eating up 33 minutes and one second of the game clock and putting up 305 yards of offense. Whitewater was also forced into two turnovers, which it couldn’t come back from. For the Blue Streaks, it’s their second win over a national title contender in four weeks, forcing Mount Union to go on the road for the playoffs with a regular season win 31-28.

UW — Oshkosh got past St. Thomas thanks to a go-ahead 36-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining. The Titan defense also forced eight turnovers, while the offense committed none of their own. Quarterback Brett Kasper went 13-of-26 for 237 yards. The offense racked up a total of 406 yards.

The Titans and Blue Streaks will meet up in the national semifinal game Dec. 10, a rematch of their week one meeting where Oshkosh came out ahead 33-14 on the road. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CT on ESPN3.

UW Whitewater, UW Oshkosh advance in D3 football playoffs

WHITEWATER, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin — Whitewater and University of Wisconsin — Oshkosh football teams advance to the quarterfinals of the Division III football championship after wins Saturday afternoon.

The Whitewater Warhawks defeated Wittenberg 37-9 thanks to 496 yards of offense and a 28-15 advantage in first downs. Quarterbacks Cole Wilber and Chris Nelson combined for 265 yards and two touchdowns in the win. They’ll move on to face John Carroll which defeated Warhawks rival Mount Union in the regular season finale.

The Oshkosh Titans took down St. John’s 31-14 on the shoulders of running back Dylan Hecker, who carried the ball 21 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Eight receivers caught passes for the Titans, but totaled just 98 yards. They now face St. Thomas for a chance to meet Whitewater in the national semifinal game Dec. 10.

Perennial championship favorite Mount Union will also be moving on in the playoffs following a 28-21 win over Johns Hopkins. They’ll meet Alfred in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The rest of the bracket can be seen here.

D3 playoff bracket leaves door open for UW – Whitewater, Mount Union Stagg Bowl

WHITEWATER, Wis. — The No. 2 University of Wisconsin | Whitewater Warhawks could end up playing the No. 1 Mount Union Purple Raiders in yet another NCAA Division III Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

The playoff brackets were released this weekend, featuring Whitewater, UW | Oshkosh, and UW | Platteville all on the same side of the bracket. That could lead to an all-WIAC second-round matchup between the Titans and Pioneers.

After getting upset by John Carroll on Saturday, the 9-1 Purple Raiders begin their title defense Saturday at 11 a.m. against Hobart. After a coaching change in 2015, the Warhawks have gone undefeated in Kevin Bullis’ sophomore campaign (10-0).

The full playoff bracket can be found here.

UW | Whitewater hosts Lakeland at 12 p.m.

UW | Oshkosh meets Washington | St. Louis at 12 p.m.

UW | Platteville faces St. John’s (Minn.) at 12 p.m.

No. 2 Whitewater tops No. 5 Oshkosh 17-14

WHIEWATER, Wis. — The No. 2 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team scored a go-ahead touchdown with less than one minute to play Saturday to earn a hard-fought 17-14 victory over fifth-ranked UW-Oshkosh in front of an NCAA Division III record crowd of 17,535 at Perkins Stadium.

On third-and-14 from the Titans’ 16-yard line, sophomore running back Drew Patterson (Sussex, Wis./Hamilton) swept left and, with seemingly no room to run, tip-toed the sideline and surged inside the pile-on for a touchdown to put the Warhawks ahead by three with 55 seconds on the clock.

UW-Oshkosh (4-1 overall, 1-1 WIAC) crossed into UW-Whitewater territory on the ensuing drive, but on third and 10 with six seconds left, senior defensive lineman Brandon Tamsett (Waterford/Waterford-Union) and sophomore linebacker Bryce Leszczynski (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI) combined to sack Brett Kasper for a loss of 19 yards as time expired.

With the win, the Warhawks (5-0 overall, 2-0 WIAC) extended their home win streak to 28 games. Saturday’s attendance is the highest on record in Division III history according to D3football.com.

Patterson finished with 20 carries for 81 yards and the fourth-quarter touchdown, and sophomore running back Jarrod Ware (Bradley, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) rushed 15 times for 67 yards.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Wilber (Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills) finished 14-of-24 passing for 125 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Marcus Hudson (Delavan, Wis./Delavan-Darien) led the receiving corps with six catches for 53 yards.

Sophomore defensive back Famus Hasty (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) led the defense with nine tackles and two forced fumbles, both of which stopped Titan drives deep in UW-Whitewater territory.

Junior linebacker Matt Seitz (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) contributed seven tackles, and Tamsett collected 1.5 sacks.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Warhawks stopped three UW-Oshkosh drives deep in UW-Whitewater territory after the Titans opened the second period with a touchdown.

UW-Whitewater fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but held UW-Oshkosh on fourth-and-3 at the 5-yard line to force a turnover on downs.

Following another Warhawk fumble, Hasty stripped Devon Linzenmeyer at the UW-Whitewater 15-yard line to thwart another scoring chance for the Titans with 9:01 left in the quarter.

UW-Oshkosh drove inside the Warhawks’ 10-yard line later in the frame, but Hasty came through again, prying the ball from Dylan Hecker and recovering the fumble at the UW-Whitewater 6-yard line.

The Warhawks drove inside Titan territory in the waning moments of the first half, but Wilber threw two deep incompletions as UW-Whitewater was shut out in a half for the first time this season.

The Warhawks opened the second half with a 12-play, 54-yard drive to set up a 36-yard field goal by Will Meyer (Sheboygan Falls, Wis./Sheboygan Falls) to make it 7-3 with 10:40 left in the third quarter.

Two drives later, after a 42-yard punt by sophomore Michael Schwichtenberg (West Bend, Wis./West) pinned the Titans at their own 6-yard line, senior defensive back Vince Mason (Green Bay, Wis./Green Bay Southwest) picked off Kasper at the 15-yard line.

Two plays later, Wilber found senior tight end Brent Campbell (Rockford, IL/Winnebago) over the middle for a 19-yard touchdown to give UW-Whitewater a 10-7 advantage with 1:57 on the clock.

UW-Oshkosh took a 14-10 lead after an 11-play, 53-yard drive netted a touchdown with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter.

The Warhawks’ final drive spanned six minutes, 53 seconds, and was the team’s second game-winning drive in the final three minutes of regulation in as many weeks.

UW-Whitewater continues conference play next Saturday at UW-La Crosse. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.