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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Lauren Carlini

Lauren Carlini helped lead Wisconsin through a dominant weekend, registering 127 assists across three matches.

Volleyball: Badgers dominate in Colorado to continue perfect season

No. 4 Wisconsin (5-0) is a team to watch as they begin their season with strong tournament showings. 

The Badgers defeated No. 24 Louisville (3-2) and Notre Dame (0-4) last weekend in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. 

Starting off their season on the right path, the Badgers prepared to take on Northern Colorado (3-3), Florida A&M (0-6) and No. 13 Colorado State (5-1) at the Northern Colorado/Colorado State Classic.

Wisconsin defeated Northern Colorado on Friday night, but the Bears put up a good fight. Taking the match to four sets, the Bears tested the endurance of the Badgers. 

Head coach, Kelly Sheffield, thought the Badgers “played a team that played fantastic defense and really had us scrambling.” 

Although Wisconsin still took the match, Sheffield mentioned how his team was not transitioning properly, which caused for more out of system plays. 

Sheffield utilized his lone eligible freshman, outside hitter Kelli Bates, who made a difference through her passing in the back row. Senior outside hitter Ellen Chapman put away 19 kills resulting from sophomore setter Lauren Carlini, who prodded 52 assists throughout the match. 

Junior libero Taylor Morey lead the defense with 23 digs while the two middle blockers redshirt senior Dominique Thompson and sophomore Haleigh Nelson had four blocks in the front row. 

The Badgers continued their success on Saturday, defeating the Florida A&M Rattlers in four sets. 

Sheffield used the depth of his bench, playing all 14 eligible players against the Rattlers. After comfortably beating the Rattlers in sets one and two, the Badgers lost the third set 21-25. 

The Badgers came firing back in the fourth set, dominating to a 25-11 score. Chapman accumulated 11 kills with senior Deme Morales tallying close behind with 10. 

Wisconsin showed impressive defense with Morey’s 20 digs and Carlini’s 13. Carlini also recorded 37 assists for the match. Thompson showed her dominance in the front row with six blocks. 

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The Badgers finished the tournament against the Colorado State Rams. Although the Rams (5-0) rallied their student body together for a “White Out” game, their school spirit was no match against the national title runner ups.

Prior to facing the Badgers, the Rams had played well and won every match thus far. Head coach Tom Hilbert knew his team was going to have to focus to compete with the Badgers. 

“Wisconsin is going to play a much faster tempo than what we saw tonight,” Hilbert said about their match against the Rattlers. 

Coming off of their win over the Rattlers, Hilbert believed his team could defeat Wisconsin. 

“If it shocks them and they can’t play [with Wisconsin] then I would be shocked, because I think they can,” Hilbert said. “Am I saying that we’re better than Wisconsin? It depends on the match, the night and the situation. We will come out and compete well tomorrow night. It’s about playing on point at a time and seeing where that takes you.”

Although Hilbert wanted his team to defeat the No. 4 Badgers, the Rams fell short. The Badgers swept the match 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 against their toughest competition yet. 

Wisconsin’s offense was led by senior outside hitter Courtney Thomas with 12 kills overall. The Badgers had more kills than the Rams in every set.

Carlini had 38 assists throughout the match, as well as six digs. Morey carried the back row with 26 digs, while Thompson defensively helped the front row with five blocks. 

This win puts Wisconsin at 5-0 overall. The Badgers will return home this upcoming weekend to host the HotelRED Invitational. Beginning Friday, the Badgers will face Miami (3-2), Missouri State (4-3) and Ball State (3-3). 

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