The No. 5 University of Wisconsin volleyball team (16-6, 9-5 Big Ten) lost to the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines (19-6, 8-6 Big Ten) in four sets 3–1 Sunday afternoon at the UW Field House. This marks Wisconsin’s second straight loss after falling to Minnesota in four sets Wednesday night.
The Badgers lost the match in large part due to several unforced errors that helped contribute to the defeat. After winning the first set 25–19, Michigan won the next three, 25–20, 25–22, 25–22.
Wisconsin managed to win the first set in convincing fashion, 25–19, including back-to-back aces by sophomore Sydney Hilley early on. Michigan then came out strong in the second set and — despite two huge blocks by the Badgers late in the game — managed to win the set 25–20.
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After two sets, the score sat at 1–1, meaning both squads had to give it their best in the third. Wisconsin held a late lead, but Michigan ended on a seven point scoring run to win the set 25–22.
With the Badger’s backs up against the wall trailing 2–1 after three sets, the two teams fought for the lead, with the score sitting at 19–18 in favor of Wisconsin. Michigan then pulled off four consecutive points and managed to hold off Wisconsin to win the set and match, 25–22 and 3–1, respectively.
Sophomore Dana Rettke continued her run of dominance, finishing the day with a team-high 17 kills with junior Madison Duello also recording a career-high 16 kills. On the other side, Michigan’s Carly Skjodt finished with 23 kills for the Wolverines.
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While Wisconsin did have 24 errors, one positive takeaway from this match was the Badger’s leverage when it came to blocks. Wisconsin outpaced Michigan in nearly every offensive category, including a 15 to seven advantage in blocks, once again led by Rettke and Duello, who finished with 10 and six, respectively.
Looking ahead, Wisconsin has two remaining regular season home games, as they will take on No. 13 Purdue Friday at 7 p.m. and Indiana Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday’s contest will also be Senior Night. You can catch both games on 100.9 FM or check them out for yourselves at the UW Field House.