After disappointing results in their last two performances against top 10 opponents, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team is looking to return to dominance with a marquee win over Pennsylvania State University.
The Badgers got off to a 14-1 start to the season in a run that was defined by the team’s consistent success against ranked, top-tier talent. During that 15-game stretch, Wisconsin went 7-1 against top 25 teams, including wins over then-No. 2 University of Texas and then-No. 6 University of Hawaii.
But the Badgers have now dropped two of their last four games, with both losses coming at the hands of No. 3 University of Minnesota and No. 1 Nebraska University. While it’s no surprise that a Big Ten schedule against the toughest volleyball conference in the country could eventually catch up with them, the Badgers suffered consecutive sweeps in their last pair of top 10 battles.
Volleyball: No. 4 Badgers suffer another loss at No. 1 Nebraska, rebound 3-0 at IowaThe No. 4 University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team had another back-and-forth weekend as they went 1-1 with a brutal Read…
But this Friday, the No. 4 Badgers (16-3, 8-2 Big Ten) have a great opportunity at home to repeat their early season success against the nation’s best as they host traditional Big Ten powerhouse No. 10 Penn State.
Though the Badgers come into Friday night ranked higher than the Nittany Lions nationally, Penn State (17-4, 9-1 Big Ten) leads Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings. National champions in six of the last ten seasons, Penn State has been one of the most competitive programs in all of college volleyball during the past decade.
The Badgers are more than familiar with the kind of challenge that awaits them this weekend, especially considering their recent struggles against the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin hasn’t defeated PSU since 2011 and UW has lost its previous eight meetings by 24-1 total in sets.
While the No. 10 Nittany Lions started the season on a much slower note than UW, they have crept into talks of legitimate national contention once again thanks to recent 15-game winning streak.
That streak came to and end last Saturday in a 3-2 road loss to the University of Michigan. The loss also marked the demise of a perfect 9-0 start to conference play. Even with the recent stumble, a statement victory over a top ten Penn State team is exactly the kind of spark that reignite the Badgers.
Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics, Friday’s game against Penn State is also Pom-Pom Giveaway night, and fans who arrive early will receive a red and white pom-pom.
First serve is set for 8 p.m. Friday night in the Wisconsin Field House with live coverage airing on BTN.