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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hurricanes blow out Badgers

The No. 14 UW volleyball team's championship hopes were cut short this weekend as the Badgers (24-9 overall) fell to the Miami Hurricanes 3-1 (25-30, 30-20, 21-30, 22-30) in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday. 




Tournament action started Friday with the Hurricanes (25-8 overall) facing off against the Duke Blue Devils (24-10 overall) at Madison in the UW Field House. Miami defeated Duke 3-0 (30-25, 30-18, 30-20). 




Following the Hurricane victory, the Badgers took the court against the University of Alabama A&M Bulldogs (24-7 overall).The Badgers bested the Bulldogs 3-0 (30-17, 30-13, 30-15) in a match that took just over an hour to complete and was filled with countless illegal hits and violations on the Alabama side of the net. 




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\This is probably the worst match we've had,"" Alabama Head Coach Betty Austin said of her team's performance. ""That's it in a nutshell."" 




The Bulldogs had 22 attack errors and hit just .014 as a team. 




""We just appeared as though we couldn't get a mental game,"" Austin said. ""And because we could not get a mental game, it affected us physically and you name it."" 




Saturday night the Badgers played host to the Hurricanes for the right to advance to regionals. 




Miami took control early in the first game, scoring the first two points and never allowed UW to take the lead. 




Game two was the only instance where the Badgers looked to have things together. Wisconsin battled back from an early deficit to take Miami 30-20. 




However, sloppy play put the nail in the Badger coffin, as 21 of Wisconsin's 29 attack errors came in games three and four. 




In addition to the unforced errors, Miami's net defense gave Wisconsin the bulk of its problems. 




""It was hard to get a kill,"" junior setter Morgan Shields said. 




""[The defense] really started at the net,"" Miami Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. ""Our freshman middles were just amazing. They may not have offered a lot offensively for us tonight but defensively they sealed the net, they got over, they made the plays."" 




Miami had 14 blocks compared to Wisconsin's seven. 




Despite the Hurricanes' stellar performance at the net, three Badgers reached double-digits in kills. Sophomore outside hitter Jill Odenthal led UW with 19 kills while seniors outside hitter Erin Byrd and middle blocker Amy Hultgren had 18 and 13, respectively. 




""We had three people with big numbers in kills but we didn't stop them at all and that's the big thing,"" UW Head Coach Pete Waite said. 




Notably absent from the Saturday's lineup was senior outside hitter Lori Rittenhouse, who sustained a sprained ankle earlier in the week, but was able to play against Alabama.  




""She was not feeling like she could jump much at all in practice,"" Waite said. ""We tried her a little bit yesterday but she just felt really out of sync.""  




This is the first time the Badgers lost a NCAA Tournament game at the Field House since 1997 when they were defeated by the Florida Gators.

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