The Oregon volleyball team went 0-5 at the Monona Grove Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, but several matches came down to the final points.

The Panthers lost in three sets at Milton on Sept. 5. Oregon took seventh out of eight teams at the Belleville Invitational on Aug. 31.

“We are shoring up a lot of our serve receive and passing,” Oregon coach Jen Grulke said. “Our defense and attack is something we have to improve on. Now it’s a matter of winning some of those rallies and out-of-system plays.

Monona Grove Invitational

Ripon edged the Panthers 25-22, 25-23 and Madison East clipped Oregon 25-22, 18-25, 15-8.

“We are so close and are on the cusp,” Grulke said. “I’m excited about what they are capable of doing.”

Oregon also lost to Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 25-22, 25-20 and then lost to Madison La Follette 25-22, 25-19.

Oregon’s Nicole Cochems had a team-high 16 kills in two matches. She missed three matches because she was taking the ACT.

Grace Engel had 15 kills, and Sara Christenson dished out 49 assists. Libero Maddi Malcook posted a team-high 51 digs. Makyla Vondra was brought up from the junior varsity team and had a team-high 12 blocks. Gracen Gilbertson served six aces, and Emily Konop added five aces.

Milton def. Oregon 25-16, 25-17, 25-11

The Panthers went on the road in Badger South Conference play and were swept by the Red Hawks.

Cochems posted four kills and three blocks. Malcook had a team-high 14 digs. Christenson had five assists, and Konop served two aces.

Belleville Invitational

The Panthers defeated Princeton/Green Lake in the seventh-place match, avenging a pool-play loss to the Tigersharks. Megan Bloyer recorded eight kills and three aces for Oregon in the seventh-place match. Cochems slammed seven kills, while Christenson and Konop dished out 13 and 12 assists, respectively. Abby Rau and Sydney Charles had seven and five digs, respectively.

Oregon lost to Deerfield 25-22, 27-25 in the semifinals. Olivia Peotter led the Panthers’ offense with seven kills. Christenson passed out 12 assists, while Cochems added four aces and four digs. Bloyer and Gilbertson had four digs apiece. Emma Swenson had two blocks.

The Panthers went 1-2 in Pool B. They defeated Fennimore 25-23, 25-21; and lost to Dodgeville 25-22, 25-22 and Green Lake/Princeton 25-16, 25-23.

Swenson recorded eight kills and two blocks against Fennimore, and Bloyer added six kills. Konop pitched in 12 assists and three aces, and Christenson added nine assists. Cochems helped with four aces and two blocks. Charles and Gilbertson chipped in four digs apiece.

Cochems and Abby Schroeder each had six kills against Dodgeville. Konop pitched in nine assists and three aces, while Christenson dished out 10 assists. Malcook had 13 digs.

Cochems slammed eight kills in the pool-play matchup against Princeton/Green Lake. Christenson recorded 10 assists and three aces, while Konop added seven assists. Gilbertson and Malcook had five and four digs, respectively. Swenson added two blocks.