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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Wisconsin Volleyball

Wisconsin earned two wins against ranked opponents in the Lone Star State over the weekend. 

Badgers upend No. 3 Nebraska, Iowa on the road

Coming off back-to-back losses to Minnesota, No. 16 Wisconsin had a huge weekend, sweeping Iowa and pulling off a huge road upset against No. 3 Nebraska. Coming into Saturday, the Badgers (6-4 Big Ten, 14-6 overall) had never beaten Nebraska — with their notoriously loud crowd — in Lincoln.

In Wisconsin’s first game of the weekend it easily handled Big Ten doormat Iowa, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-18. In their second game, the Badgers showed impressive resolve —especially from such a young team —winning three straight sets (25-17, 25-19 and 25-22) after dropping the first set 22-25.

The Badgers’ offense was dominant in their first game. They recorded 46 kills off of 46 assists, while hitting .252 percent as a team. The Hawkeye offense didn’t fare as well. They recorded 31 kills off of 31 assists and hit .144 percent as a team.

Sophomore outside hitter Lauryn Gillis led Wisconsin with 11 kills while junior setter Lauren Carlini lead the team with 39 assists.

After falling behind early in the set, UW responded to take a commanding 14-8 lead. Iowa was able to pull the set within two points but a kill by Gillis sealed the Badgers’ first set victory at 25-22.

In the second set Wisconsin came out strong, taking a big 18-9 lead. However, the Badgers again let Iowa back into the game. With the score at 22-13 Iowa was able to push Wisconsin to the breaking point, pulling within two at 22-20. Unfortunately for Iowa, UW was again able to pull away late in the set to win by a score of 25-22.

The third set featured back- and-forth play until the Badgers were able to pull away and seal their victory against Iowa. Gillis put away the Hawkeyes with a kill so the Badgers could turn their attention to Nebraska.

In Wisconsin’s second match of the weekend, it was able to capitalize on a strong defensive performance by their front line and mistakes by the Cornhuskers. Wisconsin recorded 15 blocks as a team and only 17 errors. Nebraska’s game-high 58 kills were negated by its 35 errors throughout the match.

Freshman middle blocker Tionna Williams led the Badgers with seven kills followed by junior middle blocker Haleigh Nelson with 6.

With Nebraska’s raucous crowd filling the stadium, UW came out strong in the first set, jumping out to an early 8-5 lead. The Cornhuskers were able to show why they were the No. 3-ranked team going on a run of their own to take an 18-13 lead. UW attempted to come back but Nebraska pulled away to seal the first-set victory.

In the second set, Wisconsin came out on a 7-3 run. This set the tone for the rest of the set, as UW closed out the set 25-17.

The Badgers again pulled out close-set victories in the third and fourth set to finalize their huge upset victory. It was a major win for a Wisconsin team that had struggled against ranked opponents this season.

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Wisconsin will hope to capitalize on its momentum from the past weekend moving forward to its upcoming home games this week against Purdue and Indiana. The Badgers will take on the Boilermakers Friday at 7 p.m. and the Hoosiers Sunday at 1 p.m.

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