The No. 4 Wisconsin volleyball team (16-4, 12-0 Big Ten) remains on the road to face The Ohio State University and Maryland.
The Badgers have yet to face the Buckeyes (12-12, 5-7 Big Ten), a young team that has forced some of the Big Ten’s best into some tough matches. In the past couple weeks, the Buckeyes took both No. 15 Purdue and No. 6 Minnesota to five sets before dropping the potential upsets by two points each time.
Ohio State lacks a signature presence at the net—none of their attackers rank within the top 15 in the Big Ten concerning hitting percentage or kills per set. That does not come from a lack of trying.
The Buckeyes have swapped hitters constantly throughout the season with nine players with more than 100 total attacks. For comparison, the Badgers only have five.
Their strength is in their back-row defense. They are currently second in the conference in digs and freshman defensive specialist Kylie Murr leads the conference with 4.95 digs per set.
The following day, the Badgers will take on the Maryland Terrapins (12-12, 4-8 Big Ten) for the second time in two weeks. When the Terrapins came to Madison, the University of Wisconsin swept the match but not necessarily in a convincing fashion.
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The Badgers contained Maryland’s offensive attack in the first two sets before allowing a .522 hitting percentage in the final set. UW will look to clean up their offensive flow and remain disciplined throughout the entirety of the match.
Maryland can surprise teams with their ability behind the service line as well. Against the Badgers, Samantha Snyder rattled off four service aces. The Terrapins currently rank second in the conference in aces per set with 1.56, just behind the Badgers who average 1.80.
The Badgers are riding high after a dominant win over Indiana. Their offense has numerous attackers currently hitting high percentages, which is quite the luxury for Sydney Hilley, according to UW Athletics.
“Every single person that plays front row is able to be an offensive weapon,” Hilley said. “Different people have great games every night and that’s something that’s really cool about our team.”
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Hilley received the Big Ten Setter of the Week award last week for her performances against Maryland and Indiana — her fourth such award this season.
Middle blocker Dana Rettke and libero Tiffany Clark also received conference honors. Rettke earned her third Big Ten Player of the Week nod of the season and Clark earned the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week — the second of her career.