Balanced performance leads Badgers volleyball past Hoosiers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Balanced performance leads Badgers volleyball past Hoosiers

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MADISON, Wis. -- In front of a sold-out crowd of 6,012 in the UW Field House, the12th-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team showed off its balance, sweeping Indiana 25-16, 25-17, 25-12 on Sunday afternoon.

 

Wisconsin (16-6, 8-4 Big Ten) picked up its fourth-straight Big Ten Conference victory and fifth conference sweep of the season.

“They put up a great fight just like every other Big Ten team,” junior Haleigh Nelson said. “We came in ready to take care of business, but still had a great time out there. I didn’t feel like the enthusiasm dropped at all. It wasn’t just business. We came out ready to work and it showed.”

 

UW hit a season-high .403 (41 kills - 10 errors - 77 total attempts) while Indiana hit just .047 (25-21-85). Sophomore Kelli Bates and Nelson both totaled a match-high 11 kills followed by freshman Tionna Williams with seven.

On defense, UW outblocked Indiana 7-3 and outdug it 31-23.  Williams led all players with five blocks while redshirt junior Romana Kriskova added three stops. Senior Taylor Morey recorded nine digs followed by junior Lauren Carlini with six and Bates with five.

 

The Badgers opened the match by attacking on all cylinders to overwhelm the Hoosiers. In the first set, UW hit .360 (13-4-25), while Indiana managed to hit just .034 (9-8-29) thanks to the unbreakable Badger defense. Wisconsin led 11-4, its largest lead of the seat, until Williams and Kriskova combined for two straight blocks to put UW up 18-10. A Williams kill brought set point at 24-15 with the Hoosiers hold off two set points until and Indiana service error gave Wisconsin the win.

UW was forced to put up more of a fight against the feisty Hoosiers in the second set. After three early lead changes and seven tie scores, the Badger block was again key to taking control as two stops put Wisconsin up 12-10. UW led 14-13 before a 7-0 run put Wisconsin up 21-13. Indiana finally snapped the streak with two straight kills, but the Badgers responded with kills from Williams and Nelson to resume control. After a Hoosier service error brought set point at 24-16, another Nelson swing gave the Badgers a two set advantage.

Six Badger kills in eight points, including four by Nelson, provided for an exciting start to the third set and put the Badgers up 7-1. Two straight kills by Carlini paired with a Hoosier error brought the score to 14-6 and Indiana called a timeout in hopes of slowing the Badgers. Despite the break, there was no stopping the Badge Wisconsin as three kills by Bates put UW up 18-8. Kriskova put it away to bring match point at 24-11, but an Indiana block extended the match before a final Hoosier attack error completed the sweep.

“I thought Haleigh (Nelson) responded after a cream-puff start to the match,” UW Head Coach Kelly Sheffield said. “I thought she started flexing her muscles a little bit there toward the end, so that was good to see out of a junior captain. Overall, I thought it was a solid performance.”

Next up, the Badgers take on No. 25 Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. in the UW Field House. 

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