EAST LANCING, Mich. The seventh-ranked Wisconsin volleyball closed out their road trip to Michigan with a sweep of Michigan State Saturday night in Jenison Field House. The Badgers took the match in three sets, 25-14, 25-20, 25-23.
Wisconsin (16-4 overall, 9-3 B1G) got out to a slow start in the first set but didn’t stay down for long. They closed out the frame outscoring Michigan State (15-10, 3-9) 24-8 to go up 1-0 in the match.
The Badgers broke open the second set late, breaking a 16-16 tie, outperforming the Spartans 9-4 over the stretch to lead 2-0 in the match. MSU came close to forcing a fourth set as the Badgers led 24-23 in the third set before Dana Rettke spiked the ball down the line for the match-clinching kill.
The Badgers hit .319 (41 kills – 12 errors – 91 attempts) for the match with Grace Loberg and Rettke each tallying 11 kills. The Spartans were held to a .146 (32-18-96) hitting percentage.
In the backcourt, libero Tiffany Clark led all players with 12 kills. Wisconsin recorded 42 digs for a 10 dig advantage over MSU.
Despite Rettke earning four blocks, Michigan State out blocked UW 6-5.
Notes to know
• Redshirt freshman Mariah Whalen saw her first action since the 2017 non-conference season, coming into the match to serve.
• Sophomore Dana Rettke shared match-high honors with 11 kills, her 10th straight match with double-figure kills.
• Junior Tiffany Clark finished with a match-high 12 digs, her eighth-straight contest with 10-or-more digs.
• The Badgers won their ninth match this season by a 3-0 score.
• Wisconsin hit .319 vs. the Spartans, its ninth time this season over .300. UW is 9-0 on the season when it hits better than .300.
Straight from the court
“I think we continue to get better. There are obviously some things we need to continue to improve on. That’s where we’re at, and those are the fun teams to be a part of, a team that’s getting better and still has quite a few things that they can keep working on. I think we’re trending the right direction.
“You certainly feel really good about Mariah Whalen getting in. The team was really excited for her on the sideline and in the locker room. That’s a kid that had knee surgery a few weeks ago.
To come back from that and get in there, her teammates were certainly pretty pumped for her.”
-Head coach Kelly Sheffield
The Badgers hope to spook Minnesota with its first conference loss of the season on Halloween when the Gophers visit the UW Field House for an 8 p.m. match that will air live on the Big Ten Network.