Badgers split weekend series, remain even in conference play

Despite recent woes, Lauryn Gillis still feels confident that Wisconsin can close out the season on a strong note and make a run at the NCAA title.

Image By: Brandon Moe and Brandon Moe

Falling from No. 8 to No. 10, the Wisconsin Badgers (8-8 Big Ten, 17-8 overall) split their weekend series in Indiana as they swept the Indiana Hoosiers (1-15, 12-16) 3-0 before getting swept by the No. 25 Purdue Boilermakers (10-6, 20-7).

The Badgers’ road trip results paint a similar picture to their overall conference play this season. Despite their loss to Purdue, UW is still even in Big Ten play.

Even though the Badgers swept the Hoosiers, IU didn’t give up that easily. In the first two sets, Wisconsin only won by no more than five points, with set one being 25-21 and set two being 25-20. Wisconsin did turn up the heat and put the nail in the coffin in the final set, however, with a dominating score of 25-15.

Senior outside hitter Lauryn Gillis was key for UW as she had nine kills, earning her a spot in the 1000 kill club. Along with Gillis, freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke lead the team with 14 kills, seven blocks and one ace. The other half of the freshman dynamic duo, setter Sydney Hilley, earned six kills, a personal career-high and had a hitting percentage of .857.

With less than 24 hours of rest after sweeping the Hoosiers in a quick game on Friday, the Badgers had a quick turnaround with high hopes that the same result would occur on Saturday night. In fact, a sweep did happen again, but not in their favor.

Although the box score indicates a sweep, the Badgers did not lose a set by more than six points, falling 21-19, 25-21 and 25-20. Purdue substantially toppled Wisconsin’s hitting percentage, however, out-hitting UW .318 to .194.

Rettke again lead the Badgers with 11 kills and 3 blocks, followed by sophomore outside hitter Madison Duello with seven kills and one block. Both Gillis and senior outside hitter Kelli Bates contributed five kills each.

Next week the Badgers head to Illinois to play two more conference competitors. They first play the University of Illinois Fighting Illini (9-7 Big Ten, 18-9 overall) on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Saturday at 1 p.m. face off against the University of Northwestern Wildcats (4-12 Big Ten, 14-14 overall).

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