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The Badger Herald

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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Waite’s squad learns from Missouri defeat

[media-credit name=’DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Carlini1_dm_416[/media-credit]Despite dropping their first match of the season, the University of Wisconsin women's volleyball team continued its strong play at the Montana State Holiday Inn Classic this past weekend in Bozeman, Mont.

Wisconsin took second place in the four-team tournament, with victories over Northern Colorado and Montana State. No. 14 Missouri took home first-place honors with their second-round defeat of the Badgers.

UW head coach Pete Waite said the team couldn't complain about their overall results.

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"I'm pretty happy with how we played, for the most part. We definitely learned some lessons from the Missouri match, and we'll have some things to work on this week," Waite commented.

Wisconsin, the nation's ninth-ranked team, started out on the right foot by beating Northern Colorado 30-20, 30-16, 30-22. Junior outside hitter Maria Carlini led the way against the Bears, capturing the team's first double-double of 2005 with 15 kills and 13 digs.

Sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack also keyed the Badger defense, leading all players in the match with 16 digs. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Audra Jeffers put down 11 kills, and junior middle blocker Amy Bladow came off the bench to smack 10 kills.

In the next round, however, Wisconsin's unbeaten streak of four matches and 12 games was over. A more experienced Missouri squad won a close match, with a final score of 30-26, 30-26, 30-28.

The Tigers were able to contain UW in areas where the Badgers had previously dominated other teams. Missouri led in several categories, including blocks, 13-7, and attack percentage, .217 to .173.

Serving was also an issue for Wisconsin. Missouri hit five aces while committing just two errors in the contest; comparably UW drilled just two aces while committing seven service errors.

Statistics aside, Waite attributed the loss to some communication miscues among the UW squad.

"In this sport, the girls really need to flow between each other at all times, and there were a few hesitations on our defense as a result," Waite explained.

Waite also discussed the considerable edge of experience that Missouri held in the match.

"We were up against a mature, veteran team, with their 24-year-olds on the court playing our sophomores. We were able to gain some experience playing against them," Waite said.

Wisconsin secured their second-place finish at the Holiday Inn Classic with a win over host team Montana State. Toppling the Bobcats in games of 30-19, 30-21, 30-13, the team was able to regain some confidence with the victory.

The Badgers turned around their play against Montana State, out-blocking the Bobcats 14-4 and winning the kills column 46-25. UW hit nine aces and held Montana State without an ace.

Senior middle blocker Sheila Shaw paced the Badgers with seven kills, four stuffs and three aces during the match. Sophomore middle blocker Taylor Reineke added 10 stuffs and seven kills and sophomore setter Jackie Simpson got five blocks to help UW improve to 5-1 on the season.

Jeffers and Reineke were honored for their play at Montana State, as they were named to the Holiday Inn All-Tournament team.

Wisconsin continues their tournament play this upcoming weekend, hosting the InnTowner Invitational at the UW Field House.

No. 10 UCLA, Valparaiso and Villanova, Wisconsin's competition at the InnTowner meet, will be the last three competitions for the Badgers before beginning their Big Ten Conference matches.

"We are very excited for this next tournament, especially for UCLA. It should be an awesome match and an awesome tournament," Waite said.

– UW Athletic Communications contributed to this report

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