In an impressive showing, the No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers (10-4, 6-0) dominated the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-3, 5-1) in the Field House, winning by a score of three sets to none.
Wisconsin dominated all aspects of the game. They played superb defense, with 49 digs in the three set game, and never allowed Minnesota to come close to clinching a set, despite their best efforts.
On offense, the Badgers showcased a .263 hitting percentage, somewhat of a dip from their last few matches in which they hit over .300 in each, but still a very solid outing. Unsurprisingly, Dana Rettke and Molly Haggerty led the team with 15 and 12 Kills respectively.
In particular, the Badgers had excellent service, with eight aces during the game, two each from Lauren Barnes and Izzy Ashburn.
The Gophers played well, but were noticeably outmatched by the Badgers in this intense rivalry matchup. The Minnesota offensive unit was continually frustrated by the Wisconsin defense, who was continually able to come up with clutch digs and blocks.
This excellent defense by the Badgers was able to force many mistakes by the Gophers, who had difficulty keeping it clean during the entire game, with the exception of a dominant beginning to their first set in which they were able to a seven to three lead.
This is yet another impressive display by the Badgers. In their past four matches, they have won three against top ten teams, including No. 5 Penn State, and No. 2 Nebraska on the road. However, the Badgers have not let this get into their heads.
When asked what such an impressive stretch means for the team Coach Kelly Sheffield commented that while it feels good for the team, the emphasis is to look to the future, and to continue to improve.
“It means we’re evolving as a team,” Sheffield said. “We have control over how we approach a match, the locker room feels good, but we’re getting better but that’s what’s most important to me right now.”
The Badgers have put up an impressive resume of wins so far, and will look to build upon their success against No. 17 Illinois on Friday.