Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Revenge on minds of volleyball team

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The No. 9 Wisconsin volleyball team (22-3, 14-2 Big Ten)
will have a lot on the line when it hits the road for the final time in the
regular season this weekend.

Revenge is on the minds of the Badgers as they take on
top-ranked Penn State (24-2, 16-0) Friday night in match that will be streamed
live on the Nittany Lions' athletic website

The last time these two teams faced off, Oct. 19, the
Badgers and Nittany Lions were playing for the Big Ten lead in front of a
sold-out Field House crowd. Penn State left Madison with the win after a
hard-fought five-game match. Now Wisconsin is looking to return the favor by
defeating Penn State on its home court.

"We've made some improvements since (the last meeting),"
senior co-captain Jocelyn Wack said. "Just how the game ended last time and how
we should have beaten [Penn State] in four and how we kind of let the match
slip away has been motivation this whole time to get back in the gym every day
and improve on the little things."


Since their last meeting, both teams have been playing at
different levels. Penn State has not dropped a game, going 6-0 and ascending to
the top of the national rankings. Wisconsin during that time has gone 5-1 and
swept only one opponent.

However, many Badgers see an advantage in going the distance
in several matches of late, as it has allowed Wisconsin to develop and
strengthen its bench.

"Although we have gone five, it has been really good because
we have gotten a lot of players out on the court," senior setter Jackie Simpson
said. "We've really shown that it doesn't matter if I'm out there or Nikki
(Klingsporn)'s out there, Megan (Mills) or Kim (Kuzma), Al (Wack) or (Caity)
DuPont. No matter who is out on the court, we are still going to be solid and
we are still going to pull out wins."

The Big Ten title will also be on the line when the Badgers
take on the Nittany Lions. With only four matches remaining and trailing Penn
State by two games, it is now or never for Wisconsin, especially the senior
class, if it still wants to have a shot at the conference championship. With a
win, the Badgers will keep their title hopes alive, but a loss would clinch a
fifth-straight Big Ten title for the Nittany Lions.

"We're getting down to where there are only four matches
left," head coach Pete Waite said. "In order to have a shot to tie for the
title, we need to get the win, and somebody else needs to beat Penn State. This
is an important one for us."

After taking on Penn State Friday, Wisconsin will fly home
for the weekend before flying to Columbus Sunday to get ready for its Monday
night matchup against Ohio State, which will air live on the Big Ten Network.

Following its Oct. 17 loss to Wisconsin, Ohio State has been
up and down, winning the next four before dropping the last three to fall into
ninth place in the Big Ten. However, Waite knows Ohio State plays better at
home and will provide a challenging matchup.

"Early in the
season [Ohio State was] changing their lineup around a little bit," Waite said.
"I think they have been staying withBriana
McCarthysetting so they should be a little bit more stable. They're
always strong at home, and I think they have a better crowd than they have had
in the past. We know that is going to be a good environment."

The last thing on the line this weekend is Wisconsin's
undefeated road record in conference play, which the Badgers know they have to
maintain with the title on the line.

we've won a couple close ones and fought hard to win those," Waite said about
his team's play on the road. "What is more important is that it counts for the
shot at the title so we want to get it done."

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