After eight conference matchups, the Wisconsin Badger volleyball team will attempt to continue their six match winning streak at the UW Field House against another Big Ten opponent. No. 8 Wisconsin (13-3) will face the Michigan State Spartans (10-9) on Friday and followed by an away game in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines (13-5) on Sunday.
Wisconsin is 7-1 in Big Ten play. Michigan State is a dismal 1-7, while Michigan stands at 4-4 . This is the first time the Badgers have faced Michigan State, however, Wisconsin has faced Michigan, defeating the Wolverines this past Sunday. This is the last time the Badgers will face them both till the postseason begins.
Wisconsin took down Iowa last Friday in three quick sets — 27-25, 25-15 and 25-19. On Sunday, they faced Michigan and secured another victory — 27-25, 25-17, 24-26 and 25-22.
The Badgers hit over .200 in both their matches this past weekend against Iowa and Michigan. Against the Hawkeyes, the Badgers showed their dominance as they hit over .300.
Friday’s opponent, Michigan State, has some heavy hitters. Leading their team in kills is Aliyah Moore, who has 205 this season and averages 2.85 per set. Following in kills is freshman Maradith O'Gorman with 180 and an average of 2.54 per set. Leading in digs is Nalani Iosia with 287 this season and 3.93 per set. Michigan State’s hitting efficiency will make for a tough matchup.
On Sunday, Wisconsin will face the Michigan team whom they just faced the weekend prior at the UW Field House. Junior Jess Mruzik leads with 227 kills and behind her is senior Jess Robinson with 154. Mruzik is averaging 3.66 kills per set while Robinson averages 2.52. Senior setter Maddie Dowd has a total of 414 assists so far this season, averaging 6.90 per set. Though the Badgers took down the Wolverines this past weekend, they are no easy opponent.
Sophomore Sarah Franklin continues to lead Wisconsin with 206 kills and behind her is outside hitter-Julia Orzol with 167. Senior setter Izzy Ashburn has dominated with over 350 assists this season while her freshman teammate, Gulce Guctekin continues to lead with 220 digs. The Badgers are eager for two more wins this weekend to continue their hot streak.
The Badgers will meet the Michigan State Spartans on Friday at 7 p.m. at the UW Field House, which will then be followed up by a 12 p.m. away game in Ann Arbor on Sunday against the Michigan Wolverines.