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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 27, 2019

How Wisconsin volleyball swept Purdue to start Big Ten play

Wisconsin's Dana Rettke details Purdue sweep postgame

Wisconsin volleyball pulled off a sweep against Purdue (25-22, 29-27, 25-15) after running away with it in the third set to move to 5-4 on the season and redeem itself after two losses to Washington last week.

Dana Rettke shined for the Badgers with a hitting percentage of .476 and 12 kills.

Purdue was able to hold its own in the first two sets, keeping it neck and neck until the final point. But the Boilermakers were unable to put anything together offensively in the third with the Badgers outhitting them .226 to -.059, and Wisconsin was able to easily close it off.

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Here's what happened: 

To start off the first set, Purdue took the first punch and went on a 4-0 run. Soon after, Wisconsin was able to wake up and start firing back, with Dana Rettke sparking the Badgers to tie it at 11. The teams often exchanged points before Wisconsin took the first set 25-22. 

Caitlyn Newton started to dominate for Purdue in the second set. Hayley Bush assisted Newton to account for Purdue's first three points. But the Badgers remained consistent and kept it close before the Boilermakers went on a 3-0 run forcing Wisconsin to call a time-out. Molly Haggerty brought the match within one point, and then a Wisconsin service ace tied it up. After that, they reached a tie three more times before Rettke finished it off for the Badgers with two points in a row, ending the set 29-27.

In the third, Purdue came out flat. Wisconsin was able to get the Boilermakers out of system, and put up a stellar defensive performance. Wisconsin took its largest lead of the match, 10-2. Though the Boilermakers started to show some fight toward the end, the gap remained big and Wisconsin walked away with the sweep, 25-15, in the third and final set. 

The turning point:

The Boilermakers were still very much so in the match right up until the beginning of the third set. Despite dropping the first two sets, their performance in those two showed no signs that Wisconsin was for sure taking the match. At the beginning of the third, the Badgers went on a 7-0 run, and Purdue was never able to come back from that. 

Wisconsin was able to get them out of system and dominate defensively. Listen to what Rettke said was the reason for their third set success here

Whats next: 

Wisconsin got a much needed win to start of Big Ten play, but it has a hefty schedule coming up. The Badgers play Indiana this Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. ET at home. But they then have two huge matches coming next week, when they play Penn State on Wednesday, Oct. 2, and then travel to Nebraska on Saturday, Oct. 5. These two top-10 foes will be a chance for Wisconsin to show what caliber of a team it is this season.  

Purdue plays Minnesota this Saturday, Sept. 28 on Big Ten Network. 

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