Wisconsin Sweeps Michigan State, Still Second in Big Ten

  0 Kaitlynn Bianconi | November 20th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers swept No. 13 Michigan State in 3 sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-23) at home Saturday night to maintain their match count in the Big Ten. They are just one match behind No. 1 Nebraska in the Big Ten standings.

Badger freshman Molly Haggerty led the team for the second match in a row with 14 kills.

Despite Michigan State’s reputation for the best-serving squad, they were able to only get 4 aces on the Badgers.


“I thought we did a really good job of being resilient,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Those guys have some servers that were pacing some bombs over there. I thought we battled and fought to try to get the ball up in the air. To hold that team to hitting .103 was another really good defensive night for us. That’s starting to turn into a big time strength for our players.

“To come in here 2-0 for these two teams that will probably be seeded going into the NCAA tournament, I’d say this was probably a pretty good weekend for us.”



Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics

MADISON, Wis. — The third-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team faced the challenge of back-to-back ranked opponents this weekend, rising to the occasion to sweep No. 13 Michigan State on Saturday night. The Badgers tied a program record with 11 wins against ranked opponents this season in front of a sellout crowd of 6,012 at the UW Field House.

Wisconsin improved to 24-3 overall with the 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 victory, sitting just one game out of first place in Big Ten Conference standings with a 16-2 league performance.

“I thought we did a really good job of being resilient,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Those guys have some servers that were pacing some bombs over there. I thought we battled and fought to try to get the ball up in the air. To hold that team to hitting .103 was another really good defensive night for us. That’s starting to turn into a big time strength for our players.

“To come in here 2-0 for these two teams that will probably be seeded going into the NCAA tournament, I’d say this was probably a pretty good weekend for us.”

The Badgers connected on a .220 attack percentage (46 kills – 19 errors – 123 attempts) despite Michigan State (23-7, 12-6 Big Ten) outblocking UW 13-8. The Badgers held the Spartans to a .103 hitting percentage (34 – 22 – 117), narrowly outdigging MSU 55-50.

Freshman Molly Haggerty led the match in kills for the second contest in a row, putting away 14 swings. Junior Lauryn Gillis contributed nine kills while senior Haleigh Nelson and redshirt senior Romana Kriskova each added eight kills.

Senior Lauren Carlini recorded 38 assists while adding seven digs, two kills and a service ace.

Junior Kelli Bates saved a team-high 15 digs, Haggerty added seven while Gillis, Nelson, freshman M.E. Dodge and sophomore Amber MacDonald contributed six digs apiece.

Wisconsin held the Big Ten‘s best serving team to just four service aces in the match, below MSU’s season average of 2.04 aces per set.

Sophomore Tionna Williams led the Badgers with six blocks.

The Spartans raced to a 7-5 lead in set one after scoring five unanswered points, but Wisconsin slowly climbed back to reclaim a 16-14 advantage and force an MSU timeout on back-to-back kills from Kriskova. Michigan State‘s 3-1 run after the break was cut short by the Badger offense, who put away four kills and forced a Spartan hitting error for a 22-17 lead. Wisconsin finished off the set, 25-20, when Williams and Gillis teamed up UW’s first block of the mach.

Set two began as a battle, with the two teams knotted at five. Wisconsin outscored the Spartans 10-5 to force a timeout with a 15-10 lead, then went on to score five of the next eight points to back Michigan State into using its second timeout with the score 20-13. The Spartans closed within five points (24-19) and holding off one Badger set point, but Nelson terminated a kill for the 2-0 set lead.

In the third set, the Spartans took a 7-6 lead after scoring four consecutive points, but the Badgers answered back with a 6-0 run to reclaim the upper hand, 12-7. After MSU won a review challenge to tie things up at 14l, UW dished out six kills, two blocks, and an ace to lead 23-15. The Spartans rallied late, going on a 7-0 tear to cut it to 23-22. A Spartan hitting error gave the Badgers their first match point at 24-22 but MSU stopped UW’s attack with a block. At the second set point, Kriskova crushed the final kill for Wisconsin‘s ninth-consecutive victory.

“It feels pretty good,” Nelson said, “because what we talked about all week is that this is like a weekend we’ll see in the NCAA tournament. To come out and play clean two matches in a row is something we haven’t really done lately. So keeping that play level really high was important to us. I’m really proud of how we responded even when things started to go the other team’s way. We stuck together and looked in each other’s eyes and knew we were going to pull it out.”

Up Next: Wisconsin will host Iowa at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. The Badgers will honor their seniors after the match.

Badger Stats

Molly Haggerty (14 kills, 1 ace, 7 digs, 1 block)
Lauryn Gillis (9 kills, 6 digs, 3 blocks)
Romana Kriskova (8 kills, 3 blocks)
Kelli Bates (15 digs)

Follow Wisconsin on Facebook, Twitter @BadgerVB and Instagram @badgervb


Courtesy of Michigan State Athletics

No. 13 Michigan State dropped a 3-0 decision at No. 3 Wisconsin on Saturday (20-25, 19-25, 23-25). MSU falls to 23-7 and 12-6 in Big Ten play, while the Badgers remain in second place with a 24-3 mark, and 16-2 record in Big Ten play. The Spartans were plagued by hitting errors (22 in the match) and hit just .103, while Wisconsin compiled 46 kills and hit .220. MSU out-blocked their hosts 13-8. Trailing 23-15 in the third set after and the home team used a 9-1 run in the to build a commanding lead, the Spartans showed strong resolve in countering with a 7-0 run and pulled within a point at 24-23, but the Badgers held on for their ninth straight victory.

MSU was led by Autumn Bailey with 10 kills and eight digs, while Allyssah Fitterer had six kills and six blocks (one solo) setter Rachel Minarick had 25 assists, three kills, seven digs, and four blocks, and Alyssa Garvlink had nine kills, hit .353, and added five blocks.

Freshman Molly Haggerty led the Badgers with 14 kills, while Tionna Williams had five kills and a team-best six blocks. The Spartans move into the final week of Big Ten play, and take on Michigan on Wednesday night in Ann Arbor. MSU concludes the regular season next Saturday at Iowa.


  • SET ONE: Down 5-3, Holly Toliver delivered an ace and had a four-point serving run that allowed MSU to pull ahead 7-5, with a pair of kills by Bailey helping the cause. Wisconsin tied it back up at 8-8, and the teams traded mini- runs and leads, and after a 3-0 run by the Badgers (with two straight kills from Romana Kriskova) that turned a 14-13 MSU lead into a two-point deficit, the Spartans called their first time out of the set. Minarick and Fitterer stopped the run with a block at the right pin, but a kill off the block got the sideout for the home team. The duo tied the gam e at 17-all, but the Badgers put together a 4-0 run – fueled by kills from Kriskova, Molly Haggerty, and Tionna Williams – to pull ahead 21-17 and force MSU into a time out. Out of the break, Wisconsin pushed its lead to 23-18 before Garvelink and Minarick blocked Haggerty at the pin, and Garvelink followed with a kill to make it 23-20. Haggerty got the next one to make it set point for the Badgers, and a block by the Badgers secured a 25-20 first-set victory. The Spartans hit just .143 with 11 kills on 42 swings, while Wisconsin terminated at .279, with 17 kills on 43 attempts. Bailey led the way with five kills, and Garvelink had four kills and a block.
  • SET TWO:The Badgers used a 7-2 run to open up a 15-10 lead in the second set, with five of their points coming on kills. Trailing 16-11, MSU got a solo block and a kill by Allyssah Fitterer to bring MSU within three at 16-13, but Wisconsin countered with a 4-0 run to make it 20-13 and force the Spartans into a second time out. A solo block by Kranda got MSU the sideout and its ninth block of the match, but the Spartans couldn’t put together any sustained runs to put pressure on the Badgers. Kelli Bates stepped in to serve at set point (24-17), but Garvelink put down a sharp shot , followed by her fifth block of the night, to twice stave off set point. Haleigh Nelson ended it for the Badgers, who took a 2-0 lead into the break. Garvelink had four kills and four blocks in the frame, while Kranda had three blocks and Fitterer added three kills and a solo stuff. The Spartans, however, hit just .079 in the set.
  • SET THREE: With four kills from four different players, the Badgers built a 6-3 lead in the third set, but a kill by Bailey, a block by Fitterer and Reinig, and a Badger error allowed MSU to tie it up at 6-6. A Minarick-Fitterer block -their third of the night together – gave MSU its first lead at 7-6, but the Badgers stormed back with a 4-0 run – on three kills (two from Haggerty) and a block to take a 10-7 lead. After an MSU time out, the Badgers extended their lead to five, but a Reinig kill ended the UW run. Another Toliver serving run (including her second ace of the night) brought MSU within a point at 14-13. A swing by Garvelink was ruled long, and after a Spartan challenge, the call was overturned for a 14-14 tie. Wisconsin rebounded from the overturned call with a 4-0 run – on a pair of Gillis kills and a block – to pull ahead 18-14, at which point the Spartans called their timeout. The Badgers used a 9-1 run after that overturned call to open up a 23-15 lead, but MSU came alive with a 5-0 run – on four kills and a Kranda ace – to cut it to 23-20 and force Wisconsin into a timeout. A net violation and error by the Badgers trimmed it to 23-22, but a soft roll shot fell just wide for MSU to give the Badgers match point. MSU got a block from Minarick and Fitterer to make it 24-23, but a Nelson shot down the line sealed the Wisconsin win. Fitterer had three blocks and a pair of assists in the final set in which MSU hit just .081.TOP PERFORMERS
  • Allyssah Fitterer had six kills, pushing her career total to 998, and a team-best six blocks.
  • Alyssa Garvelink had nine kills, hit .353, and had five blocks.
  • Autumn Bailey notched 10 kills and eight digs, just missing a third straight double-double.STATS AND STORYLINES
  • For the second straight season, the Spartans and Badgers met just once, late in the season, and in Madison. Wisconsin has extended its winning streak to five straight in the series.
  • The Spartans dropped back-to-back matches for the first time since Sept. 24 (a five-set loss to No. 1 Nebraska) and Sept. 20 (vs. No. 16 Penn State).
  • MSU had 12 blocks compared to eight for the Badgers, and posted its fifth straight double-figure blocking effort. MSU has 10 double-digit blocking matches in 18 Big Ten matchups.
  • Abby Monson had 19 digs for the second straight night and added a pair of assists.
  • Brooke Kranda compiled five blocks (one solo), matching her season high.


Up Next: The Spartans will travel to face the Michigan Wolverines Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. For their last regular-season match, Michigan will compete against the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday on the road at 8  p.m.

Spartan Stats

Autumn Bailey (10 kills, 8 digs)
Abby Monson (19 digs)
Alyssa Garvelink (9 kills, 5 blocks)

Keep up with the Spartans on Facebook, Instagram @msu_spartans and Twitter @MSU_Athletics

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