The No. 6 Wisconsin volleyball team opened up their Big Ten season with a return to the University of Wisconsin Fieldhouse Wednesday night. Their first Big Ten opponent — the 8-4 The Ohio State Buckeyes.
Things started out slow for the Badgers (7-1) as The Ohio State kept things close through the first half of the first set. Then comes Dana Rettke to get the Badgers going with her first kill, which sparked a Wisconsin 4-0 run. Due to some unforced errors in the first set, The Ohio State snuck back into the set, cutting it as close as a one-point margin.
“I think it took us a little bit in the first set to play a little bit cleaner,” redshirt sophomore Molly Haggerty said about the Badger’s first set unforced errors.
Volleyball: Badgers dominate sets versus Marquette, Illinois State over weekendThe No. 6 University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team (7–1) came away dominated this past weekend. The Badgers started out Read…
She talked about moving on from these errors and explained they needed to start “being aware of the type of errors we are making and being able to fix that for the next set.”
The Badgers opened the score back up in the first set on a 4–0 run lead again by a Rettke kill. Wisconsin would go on to take the first set, 25–19.
The second set started out a lot better for the Badgers and was really influenced by their serving. Wisconsin had five service aces in the second set from three different players. An ace by Madison Duello at the beginning of the set sent the Badgers on a 5–0 run to take an early lead.
Head Coach Kelly Sheffield noted a great showing from the Badger servers, saying: “I thought our servers did a really good job of putting some pressure on them and making the passers move.”
Duello was the leading server for the Badgers in the second set, recording seven service attempts, but it was Haggerty who led the Badgers with four aces on the night. The Badgers took set two with a more comfortable win of 25–17 thanks to a 9–4 run to end the set.
By the third set, all components of Wisconsin’s game plan had come into action. Starting out the match, the Badgers got off to an 11–3 lead and it was all downhill from there for The Ohio State.
The Buckeyes tried to make a last-ditch effort but couldn’t fight off the Badgers strong early lead in the third set. Wisconsin would cruise to a 25–13 third set win to make it an early night at the UW Fieldhouse.
The Badgers offense had an impressive night, hitting at a percentage of .269, led by sophomore Rettke and junior Duello. Rettke and Duello both recorded a .421 hitting percentage on the night with 11 and nine kills respectably. The impressive Badger offense also got major support from Wisconsin’s defense. The Badger defense held The Ohio State to only a .211 hitting percentage. Libero Tiffany Clark led the Badger defense with 16 digs and Tionna Williams was the match leader in blocks with four. Sydney Hilley produced on both sides of the ball, recording 35 assists and four digs.
Wisconsin will continue home Big Ten play as they look forward to facing Rutgers on Saturday. Although CJ Werneke’s Scarlet Knights (6-8) have posted a losing record so far this season, Wisconsin will still have to look sharp to improve to a 2-0 conference record. The game will take place Saturday at the UW Fieldhouse at 1 p.m.