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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Volleyball breezes past Purdue

The winning streak continues for the UW volleyball team. 




This weekend's 30-22, 30-20, 30-16 win over Purdue put UW's winning streak at eight matches, six of which have been won in three games.  




Wisconsin's match against Purdue (1-7 Big Ten, 2-13 overall) Saturday night was played in front of a record-setting crowd of 5,395 at the UW Field House. 




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'It was nice to be home tonight, partly because we had a great crowd,' Badger Coach Pete Waite said. 'This was our biggest [crowd] of the season and it was really fun for the players to get a three-game sweep in a fun atmosphere.' 




The first game of the match featured strong play by the Badgers (8-0, 14-2), who were able to score at will against the Boilermakers. Purdue's defense seemed weak and was not able to stop much of anything Wisconsin threw at it. Senior middle hitter Sherisa Livingston dominated the match with seven kills. The final score for the game read 30-22, but the game was not nearly as close as the score indicated. 




Game two opened with a slow start for the Badgers, as the Boilermakers took an early 5-1 lead. The game was a battle until the score reached 12-12, when the Badgers woke up and took over the game for good, going on to win 30-20. 




Sophomore outside hitter Lisa Zukowski and Livingston led the Badgers with five kills apiece in the second game, as the Badgers tallied 19 total kills to the Boilermakers' nine kills. 




Wisconsin senior setter Lizzy Fitzgerald turned in an outstanding performance, recording 14 assists in the second game. 




Waite explained that the problem at the beginning of the second game was more the Badgers' fault than caused by the Boilermakers. 




'At times we were just making errors ourselves,' Waite said. 'It wasn't necessarily something great they were doing, we were just making some unforced errors.' 




The third and final game of the match went by in flash as the Badgers cruised to a 30-16 win. Purdue seemed to lose its desire and intensity and made it easy for the Badgers to pull off a victory. 




'Overall, we played very well and we were able to get some other players into the game that don't normally get a chance to play in the matches,' Waite said. 




Final statistics for the game reveal how uneven the match was. Wisconsin tallied 50 kills to Purdue's 23. Both Livingston and Zukowski had 15 kills apiece, which was almost more than the entire Purdue team combined. Fitzgerald had 41 assists compared to Purdue sophomore setter Jen Bova's 22 assists.  




'Our goals are to play at a high level no matter who we are playing,' Waite said. 'It is always easier against the top teams in the conference but somewhat tougher against teams that are struggling.  




'At times, even against Northwestern on Wednesday, we lowered our level a little bit and we don't like doing that, it just takes us out of our rhythm. I thought tonight was much better and we stayed at a high level almost all the time,' he said.

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