MADISON, Wis. — In a thrilling five-set showdown, the ninth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team upset No. 5 Nebraska in front of a sellout crowd at the UW Field House Friday night. The Badgers came out on top 25-20, 19-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-8.
After Wisconsin (13-4 overall, 6-3 B1G) got out to a hot start in the first set, offensive struggles helped Nebraska (13-4, 6-3) take over in the second and third sets. It was a back-and-forth battle in the beginning of the fourth set before Wisconsin regained control of the match and never looked back, winning the last two sets to take the match.
Stellar defense propelled the Badgers past the Huskers. UW tallied a season-best 94 digs, led by libero Tiffany Clark with 26 digs. Three other Badgers tallied double-digit digs with Sydney Hilley (19), Grace Loberg (18) and Molly Haggerty (13) all playing stellar defense.
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At the net, Wisconsin out blocked Nebraska 13.5-12, with sophomore Dana Rettke earning a match-high 10 stuffs.
Offensively, UW hit .114 (52 kills – 32 errors – 176 attempts) and held Nebraska to an .087 (45-29-183) hitting percentage. Madison Duello led the Badger charge with 15 kills. Rettke added another 12 and Haggerty had 10 kills to help both players record double-doubles in the match. Hilley had 45 assists on the night to also earn a double-double.
Notes to know
- With her 14th assist of the night, which came in the second set, sophomore Sydney Hilley recorded in her 2,000th career assist. She became the 11th Badger to hit that milestone. The 6-0 setter finished the night with 45 assists while adding a career-high 19 digs for her 16th career double-double.
- Junior M.E. Dodge scored a career-high two service aces, just the fifth and sixth aces of her career.
- Wisconsin recorded a season-low .114 (52 kills — 32 errors — 176 total attempts) hitting percentage while holding the Huskers to a season-low .087 (45-29-183) hitting percentage.
- Sophomore Dana Rettke tied her career high with 10 blocks and added 12 kills to record her second career double-double.
- Junior Madison Duello tied her career best with 15 kills.
- Junior Tiffany Clark recorded her fourth-straight match with 20-or-more digs, tying her career-high with 26 digs.
- The Badgers saved a season-high 94 digs, setting a school record for most digs in a match under 25-point rally scoring.
Straight from the court"That was an unbelievable performance by two teams. The defense was ridiculous on both sides. I thought we played very, very disciplined in the backcourt. That is something we have worked really hard on. These guys have worked hard the last couple of weeks and that was something we were struggling with. I thought we were really good defensively. The mental toughness it takes to be in a match like that, when it is so hard to score, not trying to force things too much, and taking what is given and keep grinding. We were able to do that. It was a good win for us."
-Head coach Kelly Sheffield
"I think we all came together and decided we were winning the next set. I think that was the mind set throughout the whole thing. We did a great job coming back after being down 2-1. That is a tough thing to do against a team like Nebraska."
-Outside hitter Madison Duello
The Badgers are back in action at the UW Field House on Sunday when they take on Iowa at 1 p.m.