Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Badgers achieve multiple milestones, defeat Rutgers in three sets

After a statement win against Penn State Friday night, No. 4 Wisconsin (10-2 Big Ten, 18-3 overall) picked up another win Sunday afternoon, defeating Big Ten cellar-dwellar Rutgers (0-12 Big Ten, 4-11) in straight sets by a score of 25-14, 25-18, 25-23 at the UW Field House.

Beyond the favorable outcome on the scoreboard, this contest turned out to be a landmark occasion for a couple of Badgers, namely senior middle Haleigh Nelson and senior setter Lauren Carlini. Nelson recorded her one thousandth career kill while Lauren Carlini added yet another accolade to her illustrious collegiate resume, registering her five thousandth career assist.

"It's pretty cool just to be within the top of the assist leaders at Wisconsin,” Carlini said after the match. I can't believe I've already gotten here, but it's just cool to be in that type of company. I wasn't really excited about it in the moment because it was a close game at that time but now just looking back, that's good company."

As heavy favorites in this matchup, the Badgers were expected to dominate the match, and they did just that in the first set. The home team stormed out of the opening gates looking strong, jumping out to a 8-2 lead. Wisconsin seemed to only get better as the set progressed, rattling off a 5-0 run midway through the set to widen the gap and go up by eleven points. UW coasted into the second set, claiming a decisive 25-14 victory.

Realizing its lacking performance in the early going needed to improve, Rutgers stepped it up a notch in the middle set, keeping pace with the Badgers. The set started well for Rutgers, as the Scarlet Knights gained an early 5-2 lead. With her team trailing by three, senior Lauren Carlini took control, recording a service ace and two kills to lead Wisconsin’s comeback charge. Tied at 13 all, the two teams traded scores for the next handful of minutes, but Carlini came up clutch yet again, breaking the tie with another ace that sparked a 4-2 Wisconsin run. Later in the set, Nelson tallied her one thousandth kill, making the score 23-17 in favor of Wisconsin. UW would go on to secure the set 25-18.

Despite dropping the first two sets, Rutgers would refuse to go down without a fight. Just like they had in the previous set, the Scarlet Knights struck first in the third set, staking out a quick 4-2 lead. To the visiting team’s dismay, UW would battle back, as senior hitter Kelli Bates provided a game-tying kill that would bring the score to 5-5. After pulling in front, Wisconsin immediately bolstered its lead, riding a 4-2 run to create some breathing room. Determined to keep it close, the Scarlet Knights soon clawed their way back, tying the score at 15. Despite Rutgers valiant effort, Romana Kriskova proved too much to handle down the stretch, compiling nine kills in the closing set to put the Scarlet Knights away by a score of 25-23.

In addition to her immeasurable late-match impact, Kriskova finished the day with a match-high 18 kills on a remarkable .570 hitting percentage.

"It was really fun to play in front of a sold out Field House and it's always fun to play with these girls,” Kriskova said.

Wisconsin will travel to Columbus to play the Ohio State Buckeyes this Wednesday night. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Cardinal