The No. 6 University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team (7–1) came away dominated this past weekend. The Badgers started out by sweeping the No. 21 Marquette (9–3) 3–0 and then defeating Illinois State (8–4) 3–1.
Against Marquette, Madison Duello led the way with 14 kills. She was backed up by Grace Loberg with nine kills and Dana Rettke with eight kills.
After winning the first set by two points, the Badgers gained momentum and continued to run up the score on the state rival Marquette. Wisconsin won the second set 25–14 and the third set 25–15, leaving no doubt that they were the better team.
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The success rolled into Saturday as the Badgers took down Illinois State in four sets. Surprisingly, the Redbirds took the first set, but the Badgers quickly took back over and dominated the rest of the match.
This is the second time Wisconsin has dropped a first set to a team they should probably sweep. Both times, however, Wisconsin has won the following three sets in dominating fashion.
On Saturday, Rettke put up big stats with 16 kills and seven blocks. Junior libero Tiffany Clark recorded 25 digs against the Redbirds and the sophomore setter Sydney Hilley had a solid performance with 40 assists.
Wisconsin was clicking on all cylinders over the weekend, taking care of business and finishing up the non-conference season with a 7–1 record. Now the preparation is over, and the real war is set to begin. The Ohio State University travels up to the historic field house to open the 2018 Big Ten season Wednesday night.
The Buckeyes were on a five-game winning streak before a tough weekend in the Flyer Invitational, where they dropped two straight games to the University of Tennessee and the Dayton Flyers in a double header Saturday. OSU is currently unranked, but sporting an impressive 9–3 record.
Vanja Bukilic, the 6’6″ freshman from Serbia, leads the attack for the Buckeyes by averaging 3.13 kills per set with a .312 hitting percentage. The senior setter, Olivia Dailey, also plays a key role for the Buckeyes with 9.5 assists per set and 304 assists already on the young season.
The Badgers will have their hands full Wednesday night, but it is nothing they cannot handle. The match starts at 6 p.m. on the Big Ten Network, or you can listen to the action on 100.9 FM, the Badger Sports Network.