Wisconsin easily rolled past Rutgers in a quick three set match, where Badger Lauren Carlini handed out 31 assists, a career-best six aces, four kills and 10 digs picking up a double-double. Haleight Nelson and Molly Haggerty each contributed 11 kills.
The Badgers hit for .439, while holding Rutgers to a .013 hitting percentage. Wisconsin had almost 30 more kills altogether than Rutgers at 44-16.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t get anything started in the match, Meme Fletcher led with five kills and Mikaela Matthews followed close behind with four.
Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – It took just 65 minutes for the Wisconsin volleyball team to earn a decisive sweep against Rutgers, 25-6, 25-11, 25-11, on the road at University Avenue Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Badgers improved to 13-1 overall and remained a perfect 5-0 in Big Ten play.
“The offense did some good things tonight,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “I liked how we approached the match. I also liked how we approached the lineup change coming out of the locker room. No matter who the opponent is, when you hold anybody in all three sets under 12 it’s good. We had a hard week of practice trying to get some reps in and I thought we came out there with the right mindset and did some good stuff.”
No. 2 Wisconsin hit over .400 for the third time this season, recording a .439 hitting percentage (44 kills – 8 errors – 82 attempts) and only had two service errors all match to out-ace the Scarlet Knights, 11-1.
Senior Lauren Carlini hit a career-high six aces, adding 31 assists, 10 digs and four kills for the Badgers, while freshman Sarah Dodd tied her career-high with two aces and added a career-high four digs. Redshirt senior Romana Kriskova, senior Haleigh Nelson and freshman Molly Haggerty each recorded an ace.
“An emphasis coming in was serving aggressively,” Sheffield explained, “and I thought we did a really good job with that. Sarah Dodd had two aces and she was really putting some zing on her serves and really mixing the planes up and did a really nice job. I thought everybody did a really nice job of serving, not just with the aces and the ace-to-error ratio, you can’t really control the aces. But we were really moving the serve around, rarely was it just on someone’s arms.”
Nelson hit a match high 11 kills and a .733 hitting percentage with no errors on 15 attempts. Haggerty shared the match-high kills with 11, adding two assists and nine digs. Junior Lauryn Gillis recorded eight kills, junior Kelli Bates tallied nine saves and added three kills, while sophomore Tionna Williams hit a .500 hitting percentage (4-0-8).
Wisconsin’s offense proved to be the best defense, as the Badgers tallied just five team blocks, but held Rutgers (4-14, 0-5 Big Ten) to an opponent season-low .013 hitting percentage (16-15-75) through three sets.
Set one was all offense for the Badgers, setting the tone for the night with a 25-6 set win. UW took a quick 8-2 lead, scoring three points off of unforced RU errors. After five consecutive kills gave Wisconsin a 14-4 advantage, the Badgers kept the momentum rolling through the period, finishing on an 11-2 run and taking the 1-0 set lead.
Wisconsin hit a match-high .519 percent (16-2-27) in set one, while holding Rutgers to a .000 hitting percentage (4-4-23).
The Scarlet Knights battled hard to start the second set, coming within four points of the Badgers at 11-7. Wisconsin’s serves proved too powerful though, as the Badgers dealt out four aces during an 8-1 run to widen the lead, 19-8. UW held a 4-0 run to finish the set out, 25-11.
Sheffield switched around the lineup for the final set, shifting hitters and moving Bates to libero for freshman M.E. Dodge.
“I’ve got a lot of different things at my disposal,” he noted. “It’s not a bad thing at all to be able to have some options and to figure some things out. We can do a couple different things. That first lineup is probably more of a ball control lineup and that second lineup has probably a bit more offensive punch to it.”
The offense set Wisconsin up for the sweep, sending seven kills to the floor for a 10-3 lead. Errors plagued the Knights, handing the Badgers four of their next five points (15-6). Rutgers held on to survive three match points, but the comeback was too little too late as the Badgers claimed set three, 25-11.
“To come over here to Rutgers and to have it be a smooth trip so far and smooth match, that’s positive,” Sheffield said. “We’re looking forward to Illinois (at home on Saturday). Hopefully we’ll have another great and raucous crowd.”
Wisconsin returns to the UW Field House on Saturday night to celebrate its annual pink game, facing No. 24 Illinois. The 7:30 p.m. CT match will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to receive a pink rally towel (while supplies last).
Courtesy of Rutgers Athletics
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Oct. 5, 2016) – Facing its highest ranked opponent of the season, the Rutgers women’s volleyball team stumbled against No. 2 Wisconsin.The Badgers (13-1, 5-0 Big Ten) swept the Scarlet Knights (4-14, 0-5 Big Ten) by set scores of 25-6, 25-11, and 25-11.
Junior Meme Fletcher led the Scarlet Knights in kills for the 10th time this season and fourth time in a conference match, posting five against UW.
Haleigh Nelson paced the Badgers with a .714 hitting percentage, notching 10 kills on 14 attempts. Lauren Carlini, who entered the match ranking third in the Big Ten in assists per set, delivered 30 assists in the win.
Rutgers woes in the first set continued as the Scarlet Knights were unable to find a footing in the opening stanza. Despite trailing 5-1 to start the second, RU rattled off three straight points capped by a kill for Fletcher to pull within one at 5-4. The Scarlet Knights kept the margin as close as two before the Badgers jumped to a 14-7 lead, taking control of the set en route to a 2-0 edge in the match.
The Scarlet Knights were unable to regroup in the third frame as the Badgers held composure to close out the match with a vicotry and remain undefeated in conference play.
Rutgers has competed in five consecutive matches against a ranked foe or opponent receiving votes, including Penn State (No. 18), Illinois (RV), Michigan (No. 22), Michigan State (No. 18) and Wisconsin (No. 2). Illinois has since jumped into the top 25 rankings.
- Meme Fletcher led the team in kills for the 10th time this season and fourth time in a Big Ten match with five kills against the Badgers.
- Freshman Jasmine Stackhouse added the second solo block of her rookie career.
- Wisconsin entered the match as the conference leader with 3.13 blocks per set. The Badgers totaled only five team blocks in tonight’s match.
- The Scarlet Knights will don pink uniforms in all home matches in October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.