As the Badgers trotted off the court and into the locker room at the end of the second set of the regional final match Saturday night, the fans who filled the seats in the Field House roared with excitement, feeling the dream of a Final Four berth slowing becoming a reality.Three sets later, the raucous atmosphere inside the Field House had been replaced with sobering silence, as the thousands of fans who once seemed so confident in their team struggled to come to grips with what they just witnessed.
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Two teams extremely familiar with each other fought until the very end in a Sweet 16 match for the ages that had one team screaming for joy after a comeback.The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 28-4 overall) took on Ohio State (10-10, 22-12) for the third time this season, in a match that was very different from the first two meetings.
After putting together one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, the 2016 Wisconsin Badgers is a team well-versed in the art of record-breaking.While this group of Wisconsin players is hailed for achievements like earning the highest postseason seed ever, the Wisconsin fanbase has made some history in its own right, shattering the average attendance for home matches this year.But now, much like he does with his own team, head coach Kelly Sheffield is trying to give Badgers’ fans some extra motivation to make the proverbial postseason push.During his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Sheffield made the announcement that he and his wife would donate up to 1,000 tickets to Wisconsin students for the upcoming regional final match against Ohio State at the Field House.
Midway through the third set of a win over Washington State last Friday, Wisconsin senior captain Haleigh Nelson hustled up to the frontline and let her instincts take over.
Ohio State Buckeyes Coming off of a loss to Indiana on Nov. 5, their third in four games, Ohio State’s chances of making a third-consecutive Sweet 16 appeared slim.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the first two rounds of the 2016 NCAA tournament, it is that Wisconsin’s defense succumbs to no one.One night after holding its first round opponent Howard to an abysmal .050 hitting percentage in a winning effort Thursday at home, Wisconsin’s defense continued to dominate, as the No. 3-seeded Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 28-4 overall) dismantled the Washington State Cougars (12-9 Pac-12, 22-13 overall) in a 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 sweep at the Field House Friday night.Wisconsin stymied Washington State from top to bottom, shutting the Cougars down at every turn.
The Badgers were all business Thursday night, as they treated their fans to a dominating performance in the first round of the NCAA Tourney.
The Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 25-4 overall) are headed to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed, the highest seeding in program history, behind the coaching of Kelly Sheffield and the leadership of senior Lauren Carlini.The two came to Madison at the same time back in 2013 and led the team to a national championship appearance, and they hope to one-up that accomplishment with a national title in their final year together.
Senior Lauren Carlini will take the floor at the Kohl Center for at least one more time as the NCAA Tournament begins.
As the 2016 regular season winds down and the NCAA Tournament looms near, the Wisconsin Badgers are playing about as well as they could have hoped.After earning a pair of resounding wins at home this past weekend, Wisconsin (16-2 Big Ten, 24-3 overall) heads into its regular season finale on a tear.
The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (14-2 Big Ten, 22-3 overall) have another grueling weekend ahead of them as they will take on No. 18 Michigan (10-6, 21-7) and No. 13 Michigan State (12-4, 23-5) at the UW Field House.If Wisconsin is to extend its win streak over the weekend, the defense will need to be on the top of its game.
With a tough five-set victory over Purdue that extended the UW volleyball team’s win streak to five straight matches, No. 3 Wisconsin (12-2 Big Ten, 20-3 overall) appears to be hitting its stride just as the end of the regular season approaches.This weekend, the Badgers will hit the road and venture across the border to take on Illinois (7-7, 14-11) Friday night and then head to Evanston to face Northwestern (1-13, 8-18) Saturday night.Just over three weeks ago, Illinois was ranked inside the top 25 and sported a 7-2 conference record.
When Amber MacDonald made her Wisconsin debut in the fall of 2015, it not only signified the start of her college volleyball career, but also put an end to the whirlwind journey which came before it.Born and raised in Alpharetta, Ga., the Badgers’ defensive specialist/libero first expressed interest in UW during her sophomore year of high school, when she took a trip to watch the Badgers in the 2013 Final Four in Seattle.
After gaining a commanding two set lead, No. 3 Wisconsin (12-2 Big Ten, 20-3 overall) was driven to the brink of defeat Saturday night, needing late-match heroics in a decisive fifth set to put away the Purdue Boilermakers (5-9, 15-10) by a score of 25-22, 26-24, 22-25, 16-25, 15-10.
The Wisconsin Badgers (11-2 Big Ten, 19-3 overall) came away from Columbus, Ohio, with another win over a ranked opponent, No. 22 Ohio State (5-8, 15-10), despite being without star freshman Molly Haggerty, who was out with a leg injury.Wisconsin got behind early in the first set, losing 12-8, but went on a late five-point run to earn a 19-16 lead.
Coming off back-to-back wins at the field house this past weekend, No. 3 Wisconsin (10-2 Big Ten, 18-3 overall) will put its current three-match win streak on the line against a pair of Big Ten rivals this week.The Badgers will begin play on the road as they travel to Columbus for a Wednesday night matchup with No. 22 Ohio State (5-7, 15-9). Then, after a quick turnaround, the team will return home to host Purdue (4-8, 14-9) this Saturday.After effectively containing star blocker Haleigh Washington in the victory over Penn State, Wisconsin will be charged with a very similar task in defending Taylor Sandbothe of Ohio State.
After a statement win against Penn State Friday night, No. 4 Wisconsin (10-2 Big Ten, 18-3 overall) picked up another win Sunday afternoon, defeating Big Ten cellar-dwellar Rutgers (0-12 Big Ten, 4-11) in straight sets by a score of 25-14, 25-18, 25-23 at the UW Field House.Beyond the favorable outcome on the scoreboard, this contest turned out to be a landmark occasion for a couple of Badgers, namely senior middle Haleigh Nelson and senior setter Lauren Carlini.
The No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2 Big Ten, 16-3 overall) return home for another tough weekend of Big Ten play featuring yet another powerhouse, taking on No. 10 Penn State (9-1, 17-4) and Rutgers (0-10, 4-19).The first match of the weekend will be against the Nittany Lions on Friday, the Badgers fifth top 10 matchup of the season.
The Wisconsin Badgers (8-2 Big Ten, 16-3 overall) continued to struggle against the top competition in the country this weekend, falling to No. 1 Nebraska (8-1, 17-1) in straight sets.
The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers (6-1 Big Ten, 14-2 overall) faltered at home in front of a sold out crowd against No. 3 Minnesota (6-1, 14-2) for their first Big Ten loss of the season.The Badgers took an early lead in the first set 6-4 after trading points with Minnesota to start the game, but the lead was short-lived as the Gophers went on a five-point run to take a 9-6 lead.