After a successful weekend at the Field House, the undefeated Badgers (6-0) will travel to DeKalb this weekend to face the Green Bay Phoenix (4-6) and the Northern Illinois Huskies (6-2). The Badgers have been ranked No. 2 once again, after defeating both the reigning National Champions, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Marquette Golden Eagles.
The Badgers took down the No.8 Wildcats in a competitive four sets on Friday. The first two sets went well for the Badgers as they smoothly defeated the Wildcats; however, the third and fourth sets went to extra points.
In the end, the Badgers were victorious, beating Kentucky 26-24 in the fourth set. The team hit a combined 61 kills on 141 attempts, 16 of those kills being from graduate student Dana Rettke. Sophomore Devyn Robinson followed closely behind Rettke with 14 kills.
The win against the Wildcats was the Badgers 25th straight home game win, which dates all the way back to Sept. 27, 2019. This winning streak ties a school record previously placed 20 years ago from Oct. 29, 1999, through Sept. 8, 2001. The Badgers will not play at home again until Oct. 1.
On Sunday, the Badgers traveled in-state to Milwaukee, where they swept the Marquette Golden Eagles. Although the Badgers recorded their lowest combined hitting percentage of the season thus far (.297%), they held the Golden Eagles to only .079%.
Sophomore Jade Demps proved herself to be a dominant hitter, recording a season-high 14 kills during the match. Once again, the Badgers prevailed behind the service line, with a total of nine aces. Junior Izzy Ashburn led the team with four aces, followed by graduate student Lauren Barnes with three aces.
The Badgers will start off their weekend on Friday by playing against upstate rivals, the Green Bay Phoenix. The last matchup between the Badgers and the Phoenix was back in 2018, when Wisconsin swept Green Bay at the UW Field House (25-9, 27-25, 25-15). In all three meetings between the Badgers and the Phoenix, Wisconsin has won.
This will be the Badgers’ first time playing the Phoenix at a neutral site. Outside hitter Alexandra Zakutney leads Green Bay in kills, averaging 3.16 kills per set, as well as leading the team in service aces, with 18 aces so far this season. Freshman libero Abby Gardner has played in all 40 sets so far this season and is averaging 4.30 digs per set.
On Saturday, the Badgers will move on to face the Northern Illinois Huskies on their home court. Their last matchup was back in 2010, when the Badgers swept the Huskies in three sets.
The Huskies are on a four-game winning streak and are 3-1 at home. Junior Katie Jablonski is one to look out for, leading the team in kills and averaging 3.32 kills per set, as well as recording 2.75 digs per set.
Wisconsin’s four-game road trip this weekend will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. and will continue on Saturday, also at 6 p.m. Both games will be played at Victor E. Court in DeKalb, Illinois.