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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Viva Las Vegas: Badgers go 2-1 on trip

Katherine Dykstra: Katherine Dykstra earned all-tournament honors at the UNLV Invitational while registering 43 kills in three matches.

Viva Las Vegas: Badgers go 2-1 on trip


The No. 10 Wisconsin volleyball team hit several speed bumps en route to Las Vegas last weekend at the UNLV Invitational. After storms closed the Denver airport, the Badgers got off to a slow start upon arrival to Cox Pavilion, finishing in second place with a 2-1 match record. 


Wisconsin 3, UNLV 2 


Facing a UNLV match point in the fifth set Friday night, junior opposite hitter Katherine Dykstra hit three straight kills through the Rebel defense to give the Badgers an opening-round victory by a score of 25-19, 25-27, 25-20, 20-25, 17-15.  


I think we were a little up and down tonight, but it was nice that we pulled it out in the end and actually came from behind,"" Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite said. ""When you can do that on a night when you're not playing your best, that says a lot for the group and the determination that they have."" 


Dykstra led the Badgers with 21 kills on the night. Junior Brittney Dolgner added 17 kills ,and junior Caity DuPont hit a team high .421 from the outside with 11 kills.  


""UNLV is the type of team that is pretty deceptive as far as when you look at them on paper or watch them on tape,"" Waite said. ""They don't look like they're anything outstanding, but they dig a ton of balls and the run a little different offense."" 

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""We got the first match against the home team, and that was an important thing,"" Waite said. ""They had the crowd behind them, and we were able to stand up and get the win."" 


Miami (Ohio) 3, Wisconsin 1 


The Badgers' travel woes caught up with them early Saturday morning, as the Redhawks of Miami University of Ohio handed Wisconsin its first loss of the season 25-13, 25-23, 21-25, 29-27. 


The Badgers hit a miserable combined -.014 in the first two games. Dykstra, the only Badger to amass double-digit kills, led the team with 13.  


Wisconsin 3, Cal State Fullerton 0 


Wisconsin answered its loss against Miami with a resounding sweep of Cal State Fullerton 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 to finish as the tournament runner-up. 

""I was happy with the way the team rebounded from the match this morning,""  

Waite said. ""We really have to look at this morning as a fluke - o late trip the first night, long match the next night and just flat the next morning.  

Obviously we have things to work on, but they responded well."" 


Dolgner, who hit a season low -.263 with just two kills against Miami, finished with nine kills and hit a respectable .273 against Fullerton. 


""We really got to see some great things out of Elle Ohlander,"" said Waite. ""As a freshman coming in who has been doing great in practice and earned a spot on the court, she did very, very well."" 


Ohlander, a 6'6"" freshman middle blocker, earned the start against the Titans and led the team with 13 kills on .550 hitting.  


""You just don't see Brittney Dolgner have matches like that. I think she was maybe putting a little too much pressure on herself to be perfect and carry the team all of the time,"" Waite said. ""We really like that she came back mentally and was able to help us again."" 


Following the final match of the tournament, Dolgner and Dykstra were named to the All-Tournament Team - their second-straight weekend honors. 


Next weekend, the Badgers will return to  

the Field House to host the InnTowner Invitational, where they will face Central Michigan, IUPUI and No. 16 BYU. 


""It will be nice to be back,"" said Waite of playing at home. ""These trips are fun, but they're tiring. We're excited to be in Madison again, in front of our home crowd. It's such a great environment to play in, and I know the whole team is looking forward to it.

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