The No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers women’s volleyball team continued their undefeated start to the season Friday night with a dominant 3-0 victory against the Miami Hurricanes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Field House.
The Hurricanes, who entered the match 4-1, figured to provide a stiffer test than Arizona did on Thursday. But Miami was no match for the Badgers on Friday.
The first set started out competitive but didn’t stay that way for long. Wisconsin took a 5-4 lead and seized complete control of the game from there. Their lead grew to as large as 23-10, and the rest of the set was a mere formality as the Badgers went on to win 25-11.
The second set was much closer. Both teams traded leads back and forth, and the set was tied 18 times before reaching 20 points apiece. Kills from Sarah Franklin and Anna Smrek, followed by a pair from Temi Thomas-Ailara, set up match point for the Badgers. Wisconsin narrowly secured the second set courtesy of a Miami attack error to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Miami came out strong in the third set despite the imposing deficit, but an 8-8 tie is as close as they got to a set victory. Wisconsin, up 12-11, used a 6-0 run to give themselves enough distance to see the rest of the match out. Leading 21-15, the Badgers closed the match on a 4-0 run to clinch the final set 25-15 and record their second sweep in as many nights.
Thomas-Ailara built off her strong performance Thursday and led the team with 12 kills. Sarah Franklin chipped in as usual with nine kills and led the team with 26 total attacks.
Wisconsin was strong across the board as they posted a .341 hitting percentage and limited Miami to just one service ace.
Head coach Kelly Sheffield called Wisconsin’s play “clean” after the match.
“There's not a lot of errors across the board. That's a team that has been in the NCAA tournament, probably will be there again this year, held under 100,” Sheffield said about Miami. “We're hitting over 300 with not a lot of errors across the board. That's what you like to see."
The Badgers will likely remain the No. 1 team in the country for another week but face a tougher slate of games next week that includes a matchup with in-state rival No. 24 Marquette at Fiserv Forum and a road matchup against heavyweight No. 3 Florida.