The No. 1 Wisconsin volleyball team cruised over the Michigan Wolverines with another match sweep Sunday at the UW Field House to continue an unparalleled streak of dominance.
The Badgers did not trail once in Sunday’s match, and they are the hottest team in the country right now. Wisconsin has played four Big Ten matches and has yet to lose a single set, winning 15 straight sets dating back to the match against Florida.
On an afternoon where the Badgers honored the national finalist 2013 team, the 2023 team showed once again why their potential could be even greater than the famed 2013 squad.
The Badgers are now 13-0 to start the season, creeping closer to the record 16-0 start the 2021 National Champion team had. They have also won 22 straight Big Ten matches, including today’s victory.
“There was a lot of good things that we showed today. [We] were not exactly pleased with the way we played on Wednesday [against Ohio State], and I thought that was a point of emphasis coming into today was playing a better game,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said after the win. “I thought our effort today was really good. We were pursuing balls, taking really good swings and working hard in transition,” he added.
Wisconsin set the tone early and faced little difficulty in the first set. The Badgers never trailed and opened up a 20-9 lead to cement their lead. Sarah Franklin’s kill handed Wisconsin the first set with a 25-13 victory.
The good times continued in the second set. Other than two ties early in the set, Wisconsin maintained a lead for the whole set. The Wolverines were more competitive in the second set and trailed 19-14 late in the game. But the Badgers didn’t let the comeback attempt go any further as they ripped off a 5-0 run to force set point. A Michigan service error handed Wisconsin the second set.
Michigan provided resistance in the third set, but the Badgers were on another level on Sunday all the way into the final set. Wisconsin led 19-12 when Temi Thomas-Ailara notched three of the next four points before Michigan’s Kendall Murray recorded the Wolverines' last point of the match. The Badgers ended the match with a 3-0 run to win 25-14.
Devyn Robinson led Wisconsin with 13 kills followed by Thomas-Ailara with 10. Izzy Ashburn delivered a strong performance with 23 assists and 12 digs.
“One thing we say in the locker room a lot is ‘stacking the good,’” Robinson said after Sunday’s game. “We want to be consistently good and not occasionally great.”
The Badgers will look to continue being “consistently good” when they travel to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday night.