CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Wisconsin is making history. For the first time since 2000 and the second time in program history, the 12th-seeded Badgers advance to the NCAA semifinals with a 3-1 victory against Purdue in the regional final Saturday night. Wisconsin grabbed a 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21 decision at the State Farm Center to improve to 27-9 on the season.
In their toughest tournament matchup so far, the Badgers showed their true colors in a hard-fought battle against the Big Ten Conference rival. Wisconsin once again finished with a large advantage in kills, putting up 66 compared to just 50 from Purdue (23-12). The Badgers out-hit the Boilermakers .244 (66 kills – 24 errors – 172 attempts) to .167 (50-23-162) on the night.
For the second consecutive night, a Badger outside hitter recorded 20 kills. This time, it was junior Deme Morales powering the offense as she tallied a career-high 20 kills. Fellow juniors Ellen Chapman (19) and Dominique Thompson (15) also added double-figure kills and hit more than .400 to round out Wisconsin’s attack. The trio was named to the regional all-tournament team.
On the defensive end, senior Annemarie Hickey left it all on the floor, recording a match-high 23 digs. Morales put up 13 digs for her 18th season double-double, sophomore Taylor Morey added 11 saves and Carlini chipped in 10 digs.