The University of Wisconsin volleyball team has never lost to the Marquette University Golden Eagles. That didn’t change Friday night.
Wisconsin dropped the first set to Marquette in front of 1,000 fans at the Milwaukee Sting Center in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, but rattled off three-set wins in a row to come back and overcome a rough start.
The Badgers trailed 18-15 in the third set but finished the game on a 10-3 run to best the Golden Eagles.
Incoming redshirt junior Molly Haggerty led the charge with 17 kills as All-Americans Dana Rettke and Madison Duello each tallied double-digit kills.
Rettke led the team with three blocks at the net while hitting at a .647 clip.
Redshirt freshman Julia Wohlert saw her first action in a Badger uniform.
The 6-foot-7 Wohlert joined Rettke at the net and created a daunting set of obstacles for Marquette’s opposing offense.
Wisconsin will close out their spring slate in an away match against the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday.
The Boilermakers have had a full spring schedule which included back-to-back contests against the Illinois Fighting Illini — the team that knocked the Badgers out of the NCAA tournament last fall. Purdue won both matches against the Fighting Illini.
During the 2018 season, Wisconsin beat Purdue twice. Both teams were among the top 20 in the country.
The Badgers swept the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, but they needed a comeback, five-set match to beat Purdue in Madison last fall.
Purdue took the first two sets in the latter matchup at the UW
Field House before the Badgers snatched three consecutive sets to prevail.
Rettke led the Badgers in kills in both contests.
In the five-set matchup, setter Sydney Hilley compiled 59 assists — the second-largest assist total of her career.
Rettke, Haggerty, Duello and Grace Loberg all tallied 12 or more kills against the Boilermaker defense.
Outside hitter Sherridan Atkinson of the Boilermakers dominated the match with a game-high 26 kills against the Badger front line. Luckily for the Badgers, Atkinson graduated in December and will not compete in the spring match.
Redshirt junior Blake Mohler will look to take Atkinson’s place as the Boilermakers’ primary attacker.
As the Badgers close the spring slate, the coaching staff has been busy securing future recruits.
Wisconsin received commitments from 6-foot-8 Anna Smrek and Lauren Jardine — both to join the Badgers in 2021.
Wisconsin also snagged former Minnesota Gophers defensive specialist Lauren Barnes, who played alongside current Badger libero Tiffany Clark in high school.
It is still unknown whether Barnes will have to sit out a year as a transfer or if she will be able to compete as early as the 2019 season.
The matchup between the Badgers and the Boilermakers starts at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time at Holloway Gymnasium in West Lafayette, Indiana.