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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | September 30, 2022

No. 8 Wisconsin pulls off big sweep over No. 12 Penn State volleyball in Big Ten battle

Anna Smrek leads reloaded Wisconsin volleyball coming off first title

Wisconsin pulled off a huge sweep over Penn State on Friday night. After two easy wins in the first two sets, Penn State put up a valiant fight in the third set. The Badgers came out on top of the third set thriller, and they did it with Izzy Ashburn behind the service line. Ashburn was huge all evening, with five total aces. Her tough serving is what made the difference in the end — she got a hot PSU team off the net and out of system, giving her offense the best chance possible to terminate the ball. 

Devyn Robinson had a terrific night for Wisconsin with 12 kills on .521 hitting, and Sarah Franklin added 12 kills as well at a .321 clip. Robinson and Danielle Hart both added six blocks apiece, too, and the strong block forced Penn State into a lot of errors and difficult shots. 

Kashauna Williams was huge for Penn State, especially down the stretch in the third. She posted 17 total kills, leading all hitters, and at a .419 clip. Zoe Weatherington and Allie Holland each posted eight kills apiece, too. Penn State really struggled in the first two sets, but turned it around in the third. 

Here is what happened in the third, crazy, set:

The PSU run continued, and the Wisconsin crowd was silenced. The 4-0 run turned into a 6-0 run as PSU took the lead 20-18. Kelly Sheffield called not one but two timeouts in the midst of the run. Jade Demps came out of the second timeout with a big sideout. And the Badgers got just who they wanted behind the service line — Izzy Ashburn. Wisconsin retook the lead 21-20 when PSU called a timeout this time around. Ashburn posted a service ace right out of the timeout, PSU tooled one off the block, then Devyn Robinson sent an absolute bullet across the net to get Wisconsin within two. An Illegal tough by Penn State gave the Badgers set point, but Kaushana William's fifteenth kill of the night extended the match for another point ... then another ... then another. Just like that we were tied at 24-all. PSU continued to feed the ball to Williams, and most of the time, it worked. The set was tied again at 25 then 26, then 27, then 28, then 29. Ashburn notched her FIFTH serve of the match to give Wisconsin yet another match point, then Robinson finally finished it off. 

RECAP: Click or tap here for a full set-by-set recap of Wisconsin's win 

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