UW volleyball team picks up slack for Dana Rettke in sweep of Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Dana Rettke had a rare off night for the University of Wisconsin volleyball team Saturday, but her teammates more than made up for it.
Rettke, the 6-foot-8 All-American, was held to a season-low seven kills by a defense that was focused on her, but the No. 7 Badgers still were able to grind out a 25-22, 28-26, 25-22 victory.
Rettke, who had put up double figures in kills in 15 consecutive matches, hit just .115 with four attack errors.
But the Badgers (20-6, 13-5 Big Ten Conference) were able to compensate for that as their pin hitters all had big matches, led by redshirt senior Madison Duello with 13 kills while hitting .333. Redshirt sophomore Molly Haggerty had 11 kills (.267) and sophomore Grace Loberg had 10 kills to go along with a team-high 14 digs.
“Our Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t making the sky hook tonight, so that puts a little more pressure on everybody else,” coach Kelly Sheffield said. “That’s great. I love the fact that everybody else kind of stood up and made some plays.
“That was a tough match for Dana. Give them credit. Their timing was good. They sent two blockers and their backcourt was cleaning up anything the blockers weren’t getting.
“But this is a team effort. She’s carried this team quite a bit. She was as excited as anybody in the locker room that they were carrying her tonight. Grace’s numbers came down a little bit at the end but she and Molly had a great match. Duello was really key offensively and Tionna (Williams) got a little bit going there in the third.”
Maryland (17-13, 8-1) was led by Erika Pritchard with 14 kills, but she also had 11 errors and hit just .055. The Terrapins hit .127 for the match, while the Badgers hit .254.
Sheffield came away impressed with the Terrapins, who are considered a bubble team for the NCAA tournament.
“That’s a good team,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of good teams this year but I have a hard time believing that’s not an NCAA tournament team that we saw tonight.”
Wisconsin 25 28 25
Maryland 22 26 22
WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Hilley 3-11-1, Williams 5-1-4, Duello 13-3-5, Rettke 7-1-6, Loberg 10-14-3, Haggerty 11-10-1, Clark 0-10-0, Hart 1-0-1, Dodd 0-3-0, Dodge 0-8-0. Totals 50-62-11.
MARYLAND (kills-digs-blocks) — Pritchard 14-11-4, Jones 9-2-3, Myers 5-0-3, Twilley 5-3-2, Alford 2-2-0, Schriner 2-0-3, Bentz 0-9-0, Rubino 0-9-0, Rivas 0-14-0, Snyder 0-1-0. Totals 37-51-9.
Hitting percentage — W .254, M .127. Aces — W 3 (Loberg 2), M 4 (Pritchard, Myers, Alford, Bentz). Assists — W 48 (Hilley 44), M 34 (Alford 30). Att. — 1,848.