Last Updated 10:59 PM, October 01, 2021

Wisconsin pulls off big sweep over Minnesota volleyball in top-10 battle

Top 10 liberos in women's college volleyball
2:39 am, October 2, 2021

Wisconsin pulls off sweep over Minnesota

The Badgers brought out the brooms tonight with a big sweep over Minnesota in a top-10 throwdown to extend their at-home win streak to 26. Julia Orzol led with 17 kills on .333 hitting efficiency and Dana Rettke notched 13 kills on .611 hitting ... no big deal. Grace Loberg also had a big night with 11 kills to put the cherry on top of this efficient Badgers offense. If Orzol were to play how she did tonight every match, this Wisconsin team just might be close to unstoppable. 

The Badgers outhit the Gophers .372 to .198 and had five service aces on the match. On top of their offense playing well, the defense was phenomenal. Lauren Barnes was all over the backcourt with 26 digs and gave her team chance after chance to terminate balls. The Badgers are coming off of not only a big loss to Maryland but a devastating loss of star middle blocker Danielle Hart, who suffered an ACL injury. Tonight was a huge win over a great Minnesota team. 

The Gophers were led by a determined Stephanie Samedy, who notched 16 kills on the match, and Taylor Landfair, who chipped in eight kills. Katie Meyers had some incredible service runs herself and notched three aces on the match, but despite the valiant effort, it was not enough to take a set from the determined Badgers. 

Wisconsin was locked in, confident, and playing with some swagger tonight, and the scoreboard showed it. 

2:23 am, October 2, 2021

Wisconsin leads in set three, 13-8

Orzol is seeing gaps on the court that we didn't know existed. It is certainly her night, Hilley is setting her left and right and she is absolutely killing it. She is up to 15 kills on the match. 

Minnesota is right there with the Badgers and Samedy has been turning on the jets. But despite what feels like a close match, they trail 13-8 and are hitting a low .046 compared to the Badgers' .471 hitting efficiency. The Gophers are keeping things close, but have yet to take the lead in this match. 

1:53 am, October 2, 2021

Wisconsin takes 2-0 lead with 25-22 win in set two

Wisconsin took set two 25-22 to take a 2-0 lead. Talk about some high-caliber volleyball... because that is what we have here tonight with Wisconsin and Minnesota. At one point in set two both Wisconsin and Minnesota were hitting above .400. Samedy got up to 10 kills on the match as the Gophers kept it close in set two. 

The Badgers went on a 6-0 run to take a 22-15 lead, and then thought they had the match at 25-18 with an Orzol kill, but Minnesota challenged the call was overturned. Wisconsin then thought they had it again on a Minnesota service error, and another challenge ruled it an ace. Minnesota was then two behind at 24-22, but Rettke finally finished it off. Julia Orzol continued what she started in the first set and leads the Badgers and all hitters with 13 kills. Rettke is hitting .833 on the match... 

1:19 am, October 2, 2021

Wisconsin takes 1-0 lead with 25-17 win in set one

The story of the game right now is Wisconsin's service game. And it is absolutely unstoppable. Julia Orzol has a wicked jump serve and the Badgers notched five aces on the set. On top of the aces, they forced the Gophers out-of-system and then took care of their own side of the net. The most impressive part of it all is that this Minnesota team is a great passing team, but they still are having a hard time handling this serve. The ironic part of it all is that Wisconsin just tallied 17 service errors against Maryland in the loss. Clearly tough serving is their game plan and after a tough loss where they missed 17 times, they can't seem to miss tonight. 

Dana Rettke notched five kills on .714 hitting efficiency and Julia Orzol is having a great night with five kills and an ace. Minnesota sparked a comeback effort late in the set led by Taylor Landfair and Stephanie Samedy, but the Badgers reached set point and finished it off with yet another service ace. 

1:10 am, October 2, 2021

Wisconsin leads 13-7 in set one

Wisconsin started out hot jumping to an 8-2 early lead. The Badgers' aggressive serving is causing some early troubles for the Gophers with strong servers like Izzy Ashburn and Julia Orzol. Check out this serve from Izzy Ashburn ⬇️

Sydney Hilley is distributing the ball pretty evenly and the Badgers are looking confident, but Minnesota is getting better as the set goes on. The Badgers now leas 13-7 in set one. 

11:54 pm, October 1, 2021

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota, pregame

Minnesota volleyball

First set for Wisconsin vs. Minnesota volleyball  will take place at 9 p.m. Eastern on Big Ten Network. Get ready for a wild matchup between Minnesota's Stephanie Samedy and Wisconsin's Dana Rettke. The Gophers are coming off a six-game week streak after three early losses. They survived an incredibly tough non-conference slate and have been clicking well as of late. Wisconsin on the other hand just picked up its first loss to unranked Maryland. They hit a season-low .196 in the loss, but despite those numbers, they still lead the nation in hitting percentage. 

All-time, Minnesota is 52-33 against Wisconsin. Under Gopher head coach Hugh McCutcheon, the Gophers are 11-6 against the Badgers. Wisconsin has a school-record 25-match home win streak on the line against the Gophers. They haven't lost at home since Sept. 2019 vs. Washington. 

4:21 pm, September 30, 2021

How they stack up

Here's how the Badgers and Gophers match up statistically

Wisconsin   Minnesota
9-1 (1-1) Record (Big Ten) 7-3 (2-0)
No. 5 AVCA ranking No. 7
Def. Rutgers, 3-0 Last time out Def. Maryland, 3-0
.331 Hitting percentage .241
14.6 Kills per set 13.3
.148 Opponent hitting .155
2.4 Blocks per set 2.8
13.3 Digs per set 16.7
65/84 Aces/Service errors 57/67
Dana Rettke, 120 (3.75 per set) Kills leader Stephanie Samedy, 178 (5.09 per set)
Sydney Hilley, 410 (12.06 per set) Assist leader Melanie Shaffmaster, 388 (10.49 per set)
Lauren Barnes, 110 (3.24 per set) Digs leader CC McGraw, 183 (4.82 per set)
4:16 pm, September 30, 2021

How to watch Wisconsin vs. Minnesota volleyball

Two top-10 Big Ten teams battled on Friday. Here's how you can watch:

  • Who: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 7 Minnesota
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Date: Friday, Oct. 1
  • Where: UW Field House in Madison, Wisconsin
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • Online: Click or tap here


Wisconsin volleyball is ranked in the top 10
4:13 pm, September 30, 2021

Previewing Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

This match is by far my favorite of the week.

Wisconsin just picked up its first loss of the season to unranked Maryland in five, losing its steady spot at No. 2 and dropping to No. 5. The Badgers were held to a season low .196 hitting despite Dana Rettke putting up 20 kills on .500 hitting. And for one of the best blocking teams, they were out-blocked 15-9. But if you put all of that aside, there is one stat that is huge — the Badgers posted 17 service errors, almost an entire set worth of points, and lost in five. That is extremely uncharacteristic for them. 

So now this is one of the top teams in the nation and they are going to want redemption.

Minnesota on the other hand played Maryland the very next night and handled them swiftly with a clean sweep. The Gophers did exactly the opposite of Wisconsin. They executed their serve and were extremely efficient defensively. Stephanie Samedy, who as we all know has the capability to take over a match, posted just 11 kills and the offense was pretty balanced. Now Wisconsin and Minnesota will face each other. 

The Gophers are on the rise since their three early losses to three top-10 teams. Now they’ve got the Badgers, a top Big Ten opponent to see if the really tough non-conference schedule prepared them for just this.

DON'T MISS: Here are the rest of this week's can't-miss volleyball matches

4:13 pm, September 30, 2021
Here are the 3 must-watch matches this week
4:03 pm, September 30, 2021

AVCA rankings

Wisconsin and Minnesota are both in the top 10 of the AVCA rankings. The Badgers were No. 2 for weeks until they dropped to No. 5 after losing to Maryland last week.

Here's the latest top 10:

Through games SEP. 26, 2021






1 Texas (64) 1,600 9-0 1
2 Pittsburgh 1,513 12-0 4
3 Louisville 1,485 10-0 5
4 Purdue 1,353 10-1 7
5 Wisconsin 1,316 9-1 2
6 Kentucky 1,241 8-3 7
7 Minnesota 1,197 6-3 9
8 Ohio State 1,100 10-2 3
9 Baylor 1,071 7-3 10
10 BYU 1,028 11-1 11
11 Oregon 942 11-1 13
12 Nebraska 908 8-3 12
13 Washington 799 7-3 6
14 Penn State 712 9-3 20
15 UCLA 698 9-1 19
16 Creighton 616 14-1 16
17 Stanford 596 6-4 14
18 Georgia Tech 571 11-1 18
19 Utah 522 8-3 15
20 Tennessee 358 10-2 21
21 Western Kentucky 267 13-1 22
22 Florida 255 7-5 17
23 Pepperdine 214 10-1 23
24 Colorado 181 11-1 24
25 San Diego 101 8-3 25