The University of Wisconsin volleyball team tried to rally back against rival Minnesota, but just couldn’t manage to seal the deal by the end of the night.
The seventh ranked Badgers lost 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15 and 15-13 to the Gophers, who came into the match ranked one ahead at number six.
Volleyball: Wisconsin sweeps Badger Classic, raises record to 9-0The University of Wisconsin volleyball team had yet another successful weekend, defeating both Marquette and Southern Mississippi in the Badger Read…
Dana Rettke, the freshman middle who is starting to look like the leader of the Wisconsin squad, led the way on offense with a team-high 19 kills and was second on the team in blocks with five. Rettke now leads the team in kills with 162 on the season, six ahead of senior Kelli Bates.
The Badgers started strong, taking a 15-11 lead midway through the first set behind hitting errors by the Gophers and two kills from Lauryn Gillis on three rallies. From there, Minnesota was able to chip their way back into it to take the lead 20-19 before Wisconsin rallied to win the set on a hitting error from Minnesota’s Jasmyn Martin.
Roles reversed in the second set, with Minnesota shooting out to a quick 5-1 lead in the early going thanks to strong serving from their starting middle Molly Lohman. Minnesota easily controlled the set from there on out, consistently holding a lead of at least four that one time stretched up to as many as seven.
After handling the third set, the Badgers seemed to be in control playing in front of a packed Field House. They had now taken two out of three sets, but soon fell apart in the fourth set when Minnesota ripped off four kills in four straight rallies to take a 14-6 lead, a margin that never fell below seven as Minnesota was on their way to a 10-point victory in the set.
The fifth set was a back-and-forth affair with both teams unable to score more than one point at a time for most of the set. In the end, however, Minnesota was able to score the final two points of the set to win the decisive set 15-13. Wisconsin has now lost five straight in the Border Battle, a run that goes back to 2015.
Wisconsin has now lost two straight to top-10 opponents, losing their previous matchup on the road against Nebraska. Equally concerning is the game drops them to 0-3 in five set matches, possibly a product to a team that relies heavily on young players.
The positive takeaway from the match is Wisconsin’s ability to outplay Minnesota on the defensive side. The Badgers out-blocked their opponent 13-12 and also finished the day with a three-dig advantage, as well as an equal number of errors at 25. The fault came in the Badgers’ inability to equal the runs of the Gophers, a problem that occurs often in a young team such as this one.
The road doesn’t get much easier from here. Next up is a date on the road with fourtenth-ranked Michigan State, followed by a rematch against currently fourth-ranked Nebraska.