The Wisconsin volleyball team appeared to be in control of the match after dominating the first set Friday night.
But the Badgers lost their momentum in the match just as fast as they started it, as the team fell to the Hoosiers by a final score of 3-1. The loss dropped Wisconsin to 15-8 overall and 3-7 in conference play, while it was the second straight win for Indiana (10-12 overall) who improved to 2-8 in the Big Ten.
The Badgers took control in the first set, winning by a score of 25-19. As a team, Wisconsin hit an impressive .429 in the opening set and had 16 kills while committing just four attack errors. They went on a 7-0 run early in the set to come back from an early deficit to take control.
Sophomore Ellen Chapman had six kills in the set, including three in that 7-0 run and said the offense clicked early on.
“Courtney [Thomas] did a really good job pushing the ball out,” Chapman said. “When the ball is set outside like that I can really hit over the block.”
The second set was a different story for Wisconsin. The Badgers hit only .128 in the set compared to .343 for Indiana.
The Hoosiers went on runs of 7-1 and 5-0 to dominate and win the set 25-17 and the Badgers had six attack errors in the set while tallying a mere 11 kills. Jordan Haverly had six kills in the set for Indiana, a performance that came as little surprise to Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite.
“She’s a great player; we’ve known that for years,” Waite said. “She’s got a lot of different shots. She doesn’t just have one tendency you can key on. She’s the kind of player who will have really great matches and then really average matches, and tonight she had a really good match.”
The third set proved to be the back-breaker for Wisconsin. The set went back and forth with neither team gaining much of an edge, but Indiana pulled away late in the set and faced a set point leading 24-20.
The Badgers pulled off a big comeback to tie the set at 24 apiece. UW then had two set points but was unable to capitalize on them and the Hoosiers won the third set 30-28.
Despite losing the third set, Wisconsin hit .400 in the set. Chapman had 11 kills in the set while senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell added five more. Despite their solid play offensively, the Badgers committed five service errors in the set which proved to be costly.
Junior libero Annemarie Hickey said losing the third set was a heartbreaking defeat for the Badgers, one that may have shaped the remainder of the match.
“We had at least two game points and didn’t finish out,” Hickey said. “It was pretty frustrating going up that high [on extra points] and losing.”
Wisconsin never appeared to recover from that pivotal third set loss as it went on to lose the fourth set and the match 25-21. The Badgers hit only .069 in the set while committing eight hitting errors and Indiana had four blocks to seal the match in the final set compared to the home team’s two.
The Badgers totaled a hitting percentage of .225 on the match, tallying 60 kills but committing 22 hitting errors.
The usually solid defense of Wisconsin struggled in the match, committing 11 receive errors and being out-blocked 8-7. The Badgers also committed six service errors in the match.
Chapman set a career high with 24 kills in the match while Mitchell and junior right setter Julie Mikaelsen added 12 and 11 kills respectively. Courtney Thomas paced the Badgers with 51 assists and Hickey led the Badgers with 19 digs.
Waite said the errors committed by Wisconsin turned out to be the difference in the match.
“Looking at the stats, we beat them in almost every category,” Waite said. “It’s definitely frustrating. Ellen had a great night. We had some others in double-digit kills but not high hitting percentages, and that’s what we needed to win tonight.”