The Badgers (4-0 Big Ten, 12-1 overall) remained undefeated in the Big Ten after an exciting weekend that included a nail-biting win over No. 14 Purdue (11-4, 1-3) and a dominating victory against Indiana (12-5, 1-3).
Wisconsin took on the Boilermakers Friday in its seventh-ranked matchup of the season. The Badgers struggled early in the match, losing the first and third sets by a combined 11 points, but hit their stride in the fourth set. In the final set, Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, earning the match victory with a 15-9 fifth set win. The Boilermakers gave away the game at the end, with 13 hitting errors in the final two sets.
Before committing those 13 errors, Purdue looked as if they would take the win thanks to junior Danielle Cuttino, who had 18 kills. She has been the top offensive player for the Boilermakers, averaging 3.93 kills per set. Along with Cuttino, Blake Mohler was also crucial to Purdue’s early lead. She led the team with eight blocks in the match, but the efforts of those two were not enough to get them the win.
After barely escaping West Lafayette with a victory, the Badgers traveled to Bloomington, Ind., to take on the Hoosiers.
Wisconsin dominated the match from the get-go, winning the first set 25-19. The second set was closer, with 10 ties throughout, but Wisconsin hung on to take a 2-0 lead. Wisconsin finished the sweep in the third set and boarded the bus back to Madison with an unblemished record in the conference.
The key player of the weekend for Wisconsin was sophomore middle back Tionna Williams. She led the team in kills against Purdue, and then led the squad in blocks against Indiana. This isn’t new territory for Williams, who leads Wisconsin in blocks per set, and is fourth in kills per set. She is picking up right where she left off her freshman year, when she was first on the team in blocks per set. Her 17 kills against Purdue were a career high.
Freshman outside hitter Molly Haggerty once again had a good weekend, notching seven kills and two aces against Indiana, as well as earning 13 kills and two aces against Purdue. Haggerty has emerged as one of the top players for Wisconsin since her record-tying performance against Texas A&M. The future of Wisconsin volleyball looks bright with the young talents of Williams and Haggerty.
The Badgers will face Rutgers on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in Piscataway, New Jersey and will then return to the UW Field House to take on Illinois Oct. 8.