Badger volleyball remains undefeated with 3-0 sweep of Colorado - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger volleyball remains undefeated with 3-0 sweep of Colorado St.

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The first ranked opponent of the 2014 season didn't present any problems for the fourth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team. The Badgers swept No. 13 Colorado State 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 in front of 7,018 fans at Moby Arena to remain undefeated on the season at 5-0.

“This was a great volleyball environment against a really, really good team,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “This was really, really loud in here. When they made good plays, this place would get really noisy.

“I thought we did a really good job of executing after we made errors – not allowing them to get on too many runs. I thought we played clean volleyball at the end of the sets and that's something we talked a lot about, just being able to execute when the game is on the line.”

Wisconsin led early in the first set, jumping out to an 11-3 advantage. The Badgers maintained a 15-9 edge before the Rams went on a 7-1 run to tie the set at 16. UW got back on top thanks to back-to-back kills by Lauren Carlini and Ellen Chapman but it was the play of Courtney Thomas and Kelli Bates, who combined for four kills and a service ace that put the Badgers up with a first set win.

The second set was a tight battle with 13 ties and four lead changes. With the score knotted at 23, a kill by Thomas followed by Dominique Thompson putting away an overpass, the Badgers went up 2-0 heading into the break.

The Badgers took a 6-3 lead in the third set and never trailed, though the Rams pulled within one point several times. Bates and sophomore Haleigh Nelson had four kills apiece while Carlini and Thompson combined on three blocks to key the sweep.

UW dominated the match, hitting .312 (53 kills – 14 errors – 125 attempts) as a team compared to .197 (39-14-127) for Colorado State.

Three Badgers put away double-figure kills. Thomas and Chapman both had 12 kills while Bates put down 11 kills.

“I thought Courtney and Kelli stood out with their all-around game,” Sheffield said. “Taylor Morey made a lot of big-time digs. It was a really good team effort.”

Morey tied her career high with 26 digs as the Badgers outdug the Rams 57-52. Thomas added nine digs and the team's lone service ace while Bates added seven digs.

Wisconsin also outblocked CSU 7-3 behind five block assists from Thompson.

“It was a great defensive team over there,” Sheffield said of Colorado State. “I thought our ball control was really good. In the serve-pass battle, I thought we did a really good job.”

The Badgers open their home season next Friday-Saturday, hosting the HotelRED Invitational in the UW Field House. Wisconsin takes on Miami on Friday before facing off against Missouri State and Ball State on Saturday.

“I think everyone is excited about playing in front of our home fans,” Sheffield added. “We're looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd. Hopefully we're able to pack the place.”

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