Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgers’ weekend ends in heartbreak

It was a tale of individual sets Sunday when the Wisconsin volleyball team lost a hard fought match to Northwestern 3-2 at the Field House.

The Badgers played some of their most disappointing volleyball of the season, but also showed flashes of impressive play throughout the afternoon. And that inconsistency proved too much for Wisconsin to overcome.

The first set spelled disaster for the Badgers when Northwestern jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and didn’t look back. The Wildcats went on separate runs of 5-0, 4-0 and 7-0 to dominate the match, winning by a score of 25-11.


The Badgers had an atrocious -.062 hitting percentage in the set and eight unforced hitting errors.

“Absolutely not,” Waite said when asked for an explanation for the poor start. “I don’t have an answer. That’s how strange it is.”

The Badgers appeared to rebound in the second set after winning the hard fought set by a score of 26-24. Wisconsin overcame separate seven-point deficits twice in the set. Senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell had five kills in the set and two-straight blocks late in the set to propel Wisconsin forward.

“Winning any set is important,” senior outside hitter Bailey Reshel said. “But this really gave us some momentum so it was huge.”

The Badgers carried that momentum into the third set, dominating Northwestern and winning by a score of 25-9. UW used a 7-0 run in the middle of the set to pull away from the Wildcats. Wisconsin hit an impressive .344 in the set and tallied four team blocks as Mitchell paced the Badgers with six kills in the set.

But any momentum gained in the third set dissolved quickly in the fourth set, as Northwestern hit .484 in the set compared to just .211 for Wisconsin. The Badgers had no blocks in the set and were outdug 15-9.

Waite said the set was a mixture of strong play from Northwestern and weak play on the part of his own team.

“A lot of it was on our side of the net,” Waite said. “Teams can still attack you and they can still score and get their numbers, but you’ve got to bring it right back with consistent play.”

The fifth set went back and forth with neither team gaining an edge of more than two points. Ultimately, the Wildcats pulled away for the tight 16-14 win in the set as well as the match.

Northwestern’s Stephanie Holthus led all players with 21 kills in the match, and Mitchell was the only Badger in double-digit kills with 19. Mitchell also led Wisconsin by assisting on seven of the Badgers’ 11 blocks while junior Annemarie Hickey led all players with 24 digs.

UW opens weekend with 4-set win over Illionis 

Amidst Bucky doing a headstand on the court, fans decked out in Halloween costumes and the Field House exploding with excitement, the Wisconsin volleyball team still grabbed the spotlight as it beat Illinois 3-1 Friday.

“Goal achieved.” Those were the words Mitchell chose after the confidence-building win Friday night. Mitchell was a force at the net, as she collected 14 kills and nine blocks. The Badgers improved their conference record to 4-7 and tied Illinois in the conference standings.

As a team, Wisconsin outdug Illinois 82 digs to 67 and several players hit career-highs in blocks, hits and digs.

“Often our left side attackers have big nights and tonight, if you look at the stats, it was the opposite,” head coach Pete Waite said. “We got it done on the right side.”

One such performance came from junior Julie Mikaelsen. Throughout the match, Badger fans stood and clapped with anticipation for the final points of each set.

They then erupted with cheer when Mikaelsen, the right setter, not once, but twice ended two sets in favor of the Badgers with two well-placed kills. She tallied up a career-high eight blocks and tied her career high of 19 kills.

“It’s a lot of fun getting the final kill,” Mikaelsen said with a smile.

On the Illinois side, redshirt freshman Jocelynn Birks totaled 13 kills and Liz McMahon tallied up 16 more. But their play was not sufficient for Hickey, the scrappy Wisconsin libero, who reached a career-high with 30 digs.

“Our blockers did a great job closing the block tonight,” Hickey said. “I mean, our numbers put it up tonight, and it made my job really easy.”

The Badgers left the Field House pleased with the victory, which was not only the first time in the last 10 meetings UW beat Illinois, but also handed them some much-needed momentum down the final stretch of the season.

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