No. 2 Wisconsin swept Louisville 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 in the ACC.Big Ten Volleyball Challenge in Chapel Hill, NC.
A pair of injuries on the weekend left Wisconsin without their starting outside hitters, Lauryn Gillis and Molly Haggerty. Romana Kriskova and Kelli Bates stepped in and each put down 10 kills apiece.
The Badgers hit .155, holding the Cardinals to a .094 hitting percentage. This came largely in part to Wisconsin out digging Louisville 63-43.
Cardinals Janelle Jenkins started the match off right for Louisville with 10 kills, hitting .529 in the first set, though only contributing four more kills the rest of the match.
Wisconsin concludes non-conference play next weekend, traveling to No. 16 Texas A&M on Friday and No. 3 Texas on Sept. 18. Louisville hosts in-state rival Kentucky Sept. 15 at 7pm.
Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A different starting lineup didn’t stop the second-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team from sweeping Louisville in its second match of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Saturday afternoon. The Badgers rebounded from their first loss of the season at No. 11 North Carolina on Friday night with a 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 win over the Cardinals.
For the second straight match, Wisconsin (6-1) had to change its lineup due to injury. In addition to missing starting outside hitter Lauryn Gillis, who was out all weekend, the Badgers also rested their other starting outside hitter, freshman Molly Haggerty, who slightly sprained her ankle Friday night.
“Here’s what you tell them,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said of the lineup changes. “You go and you play hard. You communicate, you bounce back and you focus in at the task at hand and the next play. Volleyball is volleyball – you serve, you pass, you defend.
“This is also a game that you can’t just hold the ball and get everybody organized and then go again. In the rally, so much is about when the balls are attacked at the seam, who’s got what seam passing wise? That takes time. You also don’t want players hesitating.
“It cost us some points today certainly with some indecisiveness. I thought as the match went on, I was really happy with how the backcourt started playing. We started digging some balls and our ball control got a lot better.”
Sheffield moved right-side hitter Romana Kriskova to the left side where the redshirt shared team high honors with 10 kills. Junior Kelli Bates, starting her second straight match at outside hitter, also put away 10 kills. Senior Haleigh chipped in eight kills as the Badgers hit at a .155 clip (38 kills – 21 errors – 110 attempts) as a team, compared to .094 (36-24-127) for Louisville (4-4). The Cardinals were led by Janelle Jenkins with 14 kills.
Senior Tori Blake started on the right side in place of Kriskova, tying her career high with seven blocks. She shared match-high honors with sophomore Tionna Williams while Nelson added six stuffs. UW edged the Cardinals 13.5 – 13.0 in team blocks.
“I thought we played hard, I thought we got better,” Sheffield added. “I thought our backcourt did a really nice job.”
It was the back-row defense that keyed the win as Wisconsin finished with 20 more digs than Louisville, 63-43.
Freshman M.E. Dodge, starting her second straight match at libero, finished with a career-high 19 digs. Bates picked up her first double-double of the season, adding 14 digs to her kills, while Amber MacDonald chipped in 12 saves.
“It’s easy to forget that this was her fourth college match” Sheffield said of Dodge. “The game is so much faster. She talked about going into this match that she wanted to play courageously. I thought she did that. I thought she was jumping in the seams real well. She had a moxie and toughness about her that you want liberos to have.”
Senior Lauren Carlini recorded the 61st double-double of her career with 31 assists and 11 digs. That mark ties the UW career record for double-doubles, set by Laura Abbinante from 1993-96.
With the new lineup, the Badgers struggled on offense early in the first set, not picking up their first kill until Bates connected to put UW up 5-4. Wisconsin took advantage of six service errors by the Cardinals in the first set, including an error that broke a 10-10 tie. The Badgers led 13-10 before Louisville cut it to one (14-13) off two straight kills by Jenkins. UW led by as many as six points (21-15) before a late 4-0 surge by Louisville cut it to 21-19. A kill by Williams followed by a block and kill from Nelson made it set point at 24-19. A Cardinal hitting error gave the Badgers the first set.
Neither team led by more than a point in the second set until Wisconsin scored three straight to go up 20-17. The Cardinals rallied to knot the score at 23 but another 3-0 Badger run behind two kills from Kriskova made it 23-20. UW served for set point at 24-23 but Louisville converted on a kill to tie the set at 24. A kill from Bates followed by a block from Bates and Williams put Wisconsin up 2-0 at the break.
The third set was another tight battle as neither team led by more than one point until the Badgers scored two straight to lead 14-12. The score was tied at 15 before UW went on a 7-3 run to lead 22-18. Louisville held off one set point but another Kriskova kill completed the sweep.
Wisconsin wraps up the non-conference season next weekend, traveling to No. 16 Texas A&M on Friday and at No. 3 Texas on Sept. 18.
Courtesy of Louisville Athletics
Haileigh Nelson had eight kills and six blocks to lead the No. 2 ranked Wisconsin Badgers to a 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 win over the University of Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Volleyball Challenge Saturday evening in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“We showed more composure for sure tonight but we need to gr o out and execute no matter what the lineup,” said Anne Kordes, UofL head coach. “We got better from the night before. I thought Gabbie Wiley and Molly Sauer did a phenomenal job of serve receive and Janelle Jenkins really went after it offensively giving our setters another option every single play. Our schedule doesn’t get any easier so we will use this as a learning opportunity and go out and compete.”
UofL senior Janelle Jenkins had 14 kills and four blocks and freshman Melanie McHenry had nine kills, 11 digs and five blocks in the hard-fought loss. Libero Molly Sauer had match-high 19 digs. The Cardinals even their record at 4-4 and Wisconsin moves to 6-1. The Badgers got another 10 kills from both Romana Kriskova and Kelli Bates.
UofL switched its offense in the first set, running a 6-2 to get more blocking, although it translated to just two for the Cards, it held Wisconsin to .235 hitting. Janelle Jenkins had a hot hand with 10 kills and hit .529 in a set that had seven ties and three lead changes. Cards trailed by just one at 14-13 but got outscored down the stretch to fall 25-19.
In the second set, UofL hit .089 and UW hit .071 in a defensive struggle that saw the Cardinals block the Badgers six times. The teams tied 12 times with four lead changes. The Cards scrambled back to tie at 24 on a Melanie McHenry kill, the Badgers responded with a kill by Kelli Bates and then benefitted from a Cardinal hitting error to fall 26-24 and go down 2-0 in sets at the break.
Down 2-0 in sets, the Cards stayed close for the duration of the third set and had the lead seven times but could not find any daylight from the No. 2 ranked Badgers.
The Cardinals host in-state rival Thursday at 7 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center and then Lipscomb University on Friday at 7 p.m. in Cardinal Arena.