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Friday, April 19, 2024
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Wisconsin avenges early season loss with a win against Minnesota

No. 5 Wisconsin earned a 3-1 win against Minnesota, tallying seven service aces compared to the Gophers’ one. Franklin, Robinson and Orzol combined for 44 of the Badgers’ 58 kills in the match.

In late September, Wisconsin lost 0-3 to Minnesota in Minneapolis – the Badgers’ first and only Big Ten loss. In the nine games since, Wisconsin dropped only five of 27 sets. The Badgers’ win against the Gophers is their 10th in a row, tied with Ohio State for the longest streak in the conference. 

The first set started off close, but the Badgers gradually pulled ahead. Wisconsin went on a three point run after leading 11-9. Devyn Robinson and Danielle Hart combined for a block, followed by a Robinson kill and then a Hart kill, increasing their lead to five.

Six Badger players combined for the team’s 14 kills in the first set, led by Sarah Franklin with five. Franklin’s last kill also sealed the first set win for the Badgers. 

Wisconsin won the set 25-20 – taking their 15th first set of the season out of their 20 matches. 

After the first point, Wisconsin controlled the remainder of the first set — their largest lead being six and the difference in points coming from errors. Both teams totaled 14 kills, but Minnesota recorded nine errors while Wisconsin had four. 

In the second set, Wisconsin’s hitting percentage dropped from .244 to .16 while Minnesota’s improved from .132 to .143. The Badgers took the first three points with their strong offense. Julia Orzol began the set with a kill, followed by another from Franklin before Orzol’s service ace put Wisconsin up 3-0 – the Badgers’ third service ace of the game.

The Gophers rallied back to tie the game at 13, but the Badgers regained the lead after winning four consecutive points consisting of two kills and two Gopher errors. 

Minnesota got within two points, 20-22, until Wisconsin took the last three. 

Because of Gulce Guctekin’s leg injury, graduate student Shanel Bramschreiber earned her first start as a libero for the Badgers.

Bramschreiber had a match-high 19 digs and one service ace. Her service ace gave Wisconsin the set point, allowing them to win 25-20. 

"That was the first full match that I've played in since December and I just thought it was fitting that my last match was here against Minnesota,” Bramschreiber commented after the game. “So I think I was just really excited and just more eager than normal to get back out there and kind of get revenge,” she continued. “It was a redemption game for me.”

Minnesota had the match-high .313 hitting percentage in the third set. They managed 14 kills with only four errors. On the other hand, Wisconsin had the match-low hitting percentage of .075. 

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In the beginning of the third set, there were five ties and two lead changes until Minnesota pulled ahead, winning five points in a row. 

Wisconsin committed three consecutive attack errors, which the Gophers followed with a service ace from Taylor Landfair and then a kill by Landfair. This put Minnesota up 13-8.

The Badgers managed to get within two points of the Gophers, but Minnesota continued to outplay them for the rest of the set. Landfair led her team with seven kills, four of which were among Minnesota’s final seven points of the set. The Gophers made the match 1-2 with a 25-16 set win.

Wisconsin came out strong in the fourth set in front of their home-sellout crowd. They took an early 10-4 lead, which included three kills by Robinson, one by Franklin, three blocks and three attack errors from Minnesota. 

The Badgers increased their lead 18-11, which consisted of kills and one service ace from Caroline Crawford. However, Minnesota fought back to make the score 19-16. With a kill from Orzol, the Badgers were one point away from winning the match. However, the Gophers scored the next three points to pull within one, 24-23.

Danielle Hart had the final kill to win the match for Wisconsin. Only six of Wisconsin’s 25 points came from Minnesota errors as the rest consisted of one ace and 18 kills. After the 10th point, the Badgers only recorded kills to seal the win.

Behind Franklin’s match-high 18 kills, Robinson and Orzol both followed with 13 a piece. Orzol also earned her fourth double-double of the season (13 kills, 11 digs). 

Despite the loss, Minnesota out-blocked Wisconsin 14-10 and managed a higher total hitting percentage than the Badgers — just the second time this season an opponent has hit better than Wisconsin.

The victory extended Wisconsin’s home Big Ten win streak to 11 matches. 

The Badgers will travel to Urbana-Champaign to face Illinois on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. CST. This comes only a few weeks after Wisconsin took down Illinois 3-2 at the UW Field House. 

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