The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team protected their undefeated record with a sweep over No. 22 Ohio State in Columbus on Wednesday night. The Badgers are now 12-0 this season and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin built a steady lead in the first set. After being tied at six, they broke through with a 4-0 run to take a 10-6 lead. After Ohio State scored the next two points, Wisconsin scored six of the next seven points to secure their lead. The Badgers reached match point up 24-16 after a kill from Sarah Franklin. An attack error from Ohio State’s Emily Londot handed the Badgers the first set.
The second set was more turbulent for the Badgers. The Buckeyes sprinted out to an 8-3 lead, putting Wisconsin in an early hole. They fought back to narrow the score to 9-7 after a kill from Temi Thomas-Ailara. However, Ohio State widened their advantage to 13-8. In true Wisconsin volleyball fashion, the Badgers went on a 6-0 run, including two kills from Thomas-Ailara, to wrestle the lead back from Ohio State.
Tied at 17 points apiece, kills from Devyn Robinson, Anna Smrek and Franklin along with an Ohio State attack error gave the Badgers a comfortable 21-17 lead. They faced little resistance and won the second set 25-20.
Despite a competitive start to the third set, Wisconsin did not let it mirror the second one. The Badgers won the third set 25-18 to finish off their third straight sweep of Big Ten opponents.
Wisconsin was once again led by Franklin on Wednesday with 11 kills, followed by Thomas-Ailara who had a strong match with 10 kills of her own. Carter Booth added eight blocks, her sixth straight match where she tallied at least five blocks or more.
Wisconsin’s recent dominance stretches back to their match against Florida on Sept. 17, where they won three straight sets to beat the Gators in a reverse sweep. Wisconsin has now won 12 straight sets, 12 straight games and 21 straight Big Ten matches dating back to last season. Additionally, the Badgers have won all six matches against ranked opponents this year.
The Badgers will look to continue their recent domination when they battle Michigan at the UW Field House on Sunday afternoon.