Sunday Funday: Badgers halt Hawkeyes in three sets

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MADISON, Wi. Fifteen days ago, the Iowa volleyball team was able to beat the then-sixth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team in five sets in Iowa City. Today was a day that the Badgers had marked on their calendars as they avenged the earlier season loss. No. 9 Wisconsin (14-4 overall, 7-3 B1G) swept Iowa 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 in the UW Field House on Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore Dana Rettke and the Wisconsin offense took charge of the match, recording a .405 (53 kills – 8 errors – 111 attempts) hitting percentage while Rettke hit .739 (17-0-23) herself. The Badgers held Iowa to a .170 (34-15-112) hitting percentage.

Sophomore Grace Loberg earned her second-straight double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs to help the backcourt out dig the Hawkeyes, 50-43. Libero Tiffany Clark (12) and outside hitter Molly Haggerty (11) also tallied double-digit saves for Wisconsin.

Behind the service line, UW recorded five aces to Iowa’s three, led by sophomore setter Sydney Hilley, who notched three aces in the span of five points in the second set. The 6-0 setter also put up 48 assists.

The Badgers bested Iowa at the net with an 8-3 blocking advantage. Senior middle blocker Tionna Williams and Hilley led the team with four stuffs apiece.

Notes to know
• Junior Sarah Dodd recorded just her second service ace of the season.

• Sophomore Sydney Hilley recorded just the third block solo of her career. The 6-0 setter also recorded a match-high three service aces, all within a five-point span in the second set. She also put up a three-set, season high 48 assists, which ranks third on the UW three-set match record under 25-point rally scoring.

• Sophomore Dana Rettke hit a three-set, season-high .739 (17K-0E-23TA) hitting percentage. The 6-8 middle blocker also put away a three-set season-high 17 kills.

• Wisconsin hit .405 (53K-8E-111TA), just the third time this season it has hit better than .400, including the second time in Big Ten play. The Badgers also put away a three-set, season-high 53 kills, which ranks second on the UW three-set, single-match record list under 25-point rally scoring.

Straight from the court
“I thought we were ready to play today, and I thought we did a fantastic job on their left sides. We played these guys, how many days ago? 15 days ago, obviously our group hasn’t forgotten that. You know their lefts kind of went off on us, and I thought we did a really good job especially on Taylor Louis, to hold her to negative (hitting percentage). I thought our block did a really good job, both of these guys (Hilley and Rettke) got some blocks on her. Just discipline in the backcourt, I thought we came out with a really good defensive mindset and offense was efficient. That’s a really low hitting error percentage, when you’re at about seven percent, that’s pretty low, and I thought it was a real efficient match for us.”

-Head coach Kelly Sheffield

“Last match (against Iowa) was motivation. That was a lot of motivation for us going into this match, and we knew that that was not even close to our best level of volleyball, so that’s really what we wanted to do today, play our best and show them what we got.”

-Middle blocker Dana Rettke

“After the last Iowa match, all the blockers went through a film session and it showed us what we looked it. We never want to look like that again, not just against them, but also against anyone. I think that (Madison) Duello and I took that to heart and we were really proud of what we did today, but we still have a lot of room to grow.”

-Setter Sydney Hilley

Up next
The Badgers are back on the road next weekend, heading to Michigan for matches at No. 13 Michigan and Michigan State. Friday’s match with the Wolverines begins at 7 p.m. (CT) and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.