The Wisconsin volleyball squad participated in the Notre Dame/Adidas Invitational in South Bend, Ind., over the weekend. The Badgers lost to host Notre Dame Friday night, but came back to sweep New Mexico State Saturday. Wisconsin earned second place in the invitational with a 1-1 showing.
Wisconsin (4-4) took the first set against Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish stormed back and swept the final three sets of the match, winning 15-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-18.
""I was really pleased with the way we started the first set–we were solid, we were serving tough, we kept Notre Dame on their heels and out of their offense,"" Badgers head coach Pete Waite said. ""But after the first set, I think Notre Dame reversed that–they were serving tougher, which caused us to struggle with our serve receive and our offense.""
Senior Brittney Dolgner led the team with 13 kills, and freshman Kirby Toon contributed nine kills of her own. Toon also led the Badgers in digs, as well as blocks, with 10 and three, respectively.
""Notre Dame is a real veteran team,"" Waite said. ""They had been trying some younger players but after the first set, they put their veterans back in. They had five seniors on the court at times. They made some good adjustments and played what was probably their best match of the season.""
The Badgers had a much easier go of it against New Mexico State, sweeping the Aggies 25-21, 25-19, 25-23. Wisconsin recorded a season-high 10 blocks, six of which came in the first set. Sophomore Janelle Gabrielsen led the team with 25 assists, and junior Kim Kuzma chipped in with nine digs.
""It was a nice win to bounce back after the loss to Notre Dame,"" Waite said. ""Just like a week ago, the team learned through watching some video on their previous match to see how to correct things and come out better.""
Dolgner again led the Badgers in kills, and sophomore Elle Ohlander led all players with five blocks. Senior Caity DuPont had three aces in the match and finished with seven aces for the weekend.
""We were more consistent throughout this match and that was another goal of ours-–not have the highs and lows but to stay steady and strong throughout the whole match,"" Waite said. ""There were times we were down and came back and other times where New Mexico State made some surges and we held them off. I thought that was really good.""
Dolgner and Ohlander were each named to the invitational's all-tournament team. Dolgner earned her second-consecutive all-tournament honor, while Ohlander picked up the first tournament honor of her career.
Dolgner posted a team-high 25 kills on the weekend, and Ohlander led the Badgers with six blocks over the two games.
Wisconsin finishes up the non-conference portion of the schedule with a road game at Green Bay on Wednesday. The team then has one week to prepare for their Big Ten opener against Iowa, which will be held in the UW Field House and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
-—uwbadgers.com contributed to this report.