Badgers volleyball sweeps Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The University of Wisconsin volleyball team had some amends to make, coming off a dismal performance in getting swept at Minnesota on Wednesday night.
And the No. 5 Badgers did just that on Saturday, responding with a hard-fought sweep of No. 16 Purdue 25-23, 25-19, 26-24.
“That was Badger volleyball there,” UW coach Kelly Sheffield said. “The numbers may not support that but it was just a gritty performance for us.”
Sheffield juggled his lineup, starting redshirt freshman Danielle Hart in place of sophomore Grace Loberg up front and shifting junior M.E. Dodge to libero and junior Tiffany Clark to defensive specialist.
But the biggest change was more attitudinal.
“We had some fire behind us,” redshirt junior Madison Duello said. “We wanted to prove ourselves, that we were better than our showing on Wednesday. I think that we did that.
“That’s what we wanted out of this match. We knew that our showing on Wednesday was not us and that this game was really going to prove what kind of team this is.”
The Badgers (10-2, 3-1 Big Ten) were led offensively by sophomore Dana Rettke with 15 kills, while Duello added 12, including the last four points in the third set as they rallied from a 23-20 deficit to close out the match with a 6-1 run.
The Boilermakers (13-2, 3-2) were led by redshirt senior Sherridan Atkinson with 11 kills.
The Badgers came out sizzling, jumping to an 11-3 lead in the first set and twice stretching their advantage to 10 points. Purdue made things a little tense with a 7-0 run to pull within 24-23 before giving up set point on a service error.
UW took command of the second set with a 5-1 run, culminated by an ace by Dodge, to open up a 20-13 lead.
Purdue led much of the third set, leading by as many as four points, the last time coming at 21-17, before the Badgers made their charge.
In addition to Duello’s four straight kills, Rettke contributed two kills and an ace while redshirt sophomore Molly Haggerty had two kills and a spectacular dig.
“On match point, the save that (Haggerty) made was ridiculous,” Sheffield said. “It was every inch of her stretched out to bring that ball back in the court for us to get it back in.
“I’m proud of these guys. The strength that I saw on the bench from them, the strength that I saw in them going into the match, there was a different look to them.
“It wasn’t pretty but it was gritty. This was as gritty as we’ve been at any time the last couple years.”
Wisconsin 25 25 26
Purdue 23 19 24
WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Hilley 3-5-1, Williams 6-0-3, Rettke 15-2-2, Hart 3-0-4, Dodge 0-9-0, Haggerty 6-10-1, Duello 12-2-1, Dodd 0-0-0, Clark 0-8-0, Loberg 0-4-0. Totals 45-40-6.
PURDUE (kills-digs-blocks) — Atkinson 11-3-2, Cleveland 9-2-6, Cuttino 6-1-3, Mohler 6-0-3, Newton 5-1-1, Bush 0-5-0, Hornung 0-8-0, Peters 0-14-0, Reisinger 0-1-0, Otec 0-0-0. Totals 37-35-9.
Hitting percentage — W .218, P .194. Aces — W 6 (Rettke, Haggerty 2), P 5 (Hornung 5). Assists — W 42 (Hilley 33), P 36 (Bush 33). Att. — 2,415.