Badgers drop first set of the season, but prevail over Marquette
Kelli Bates led UW with 20 kills in Wisconsin's five set loss to Nebraska Saturday night.Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger
It wasn’t smooth sailing for the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (8-0) as they faced unranked Marquette (5-5) Thursday night at the UW Fieldhouse.
Until last night, the Badgers hadn’t lost a single set, but with strong leadership from its seniors, UW pulled out a win of three sets to one victory over the Eagles, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 26-24.
Senior Kelli Bates lead the team with 17 kills and 10 digs to earn herself a double-double and sophomore M.E. Dodge had a match and career-high 21 digs.
The first set started with the Badgers scoring first, however, the Golden Eagles quickly erased UW’s lead and took the first set, 25-19.
“I think what turned it around is that it was our first set loss of the season,” Bates said. “I said we come back and we challenge them these next few sets. We are absolutely not going to lose.”
And as it turned out, Bates’ prophecy quickly came to fruition.
The second set started with the Badgers again opening up on the scoring. But this time, they never gave up the lead. Wisconsin defeated Marquette 25-13 in the second set. Both teams were held to only nine kills each, but UW controlled the entire set winning it comfortably.
Marquette got on the board first in the third and held the lead for the majority of the set. Wisconsin, however, was not ready to call it quits. The set went back-and-forth until UW finally took the lead on a block by Bates that immediately caused Marquette to call a timeout. It wouldn’t look back from there.
The fourth set went back and forth with neither team getting a dominant advantage. It featured a match-high 13 ties and four lead changes. Wisconsin, though, closed the match on a high-note as Bates, freshman Sydney Hilley and senior Lauryn Gillis helped lead UW to victory.
“I think these two [Kelli Bates and Lauryn Gillis] were really big for us tonight,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “They're our seniors and that's what you do in big matches. I think our young kids played a little young tonight and I think these two carried us tonight.”
Despite the rocky start, the Badgers fought back and ended up victorious, winning the match 3-1.
UW’s next match is this Saturday, Sept. 16 where they will host Southern Mississippi in the UW-Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter