Great Dana: Sophomore has career night to lead Badgers past Illini

No. 6 Wisconsin downs No. 7 Illinois, 3-1, on the road


CHAMPAIGN, ILL. – Comebacks, sneak attacks, and a face kill were just a few of the keys to the sixth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team’s win at No. 7 Illinois on Wednesday night. The Badgers prevailed in four sets, 21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-18.


After dropping the first set, Wisconsin (11-2 overall, 4-1 B1G) was down by seven points (14-7) early in the second set, but staged a comeback to remember to even the match at one set apiece thanks to an impressive 18-7 scoring run.


Illinois (14-2, 3-2) gave the Badgers another fight in the third set, leading 23-22 late in the frame, before UW closed the set scoring three-straight points.


Sophomore Dana Rettke let the kills rain down in Huff Hall, leading all players with a career-high 23 kills, including one that ricocheted off the Illinois block, into her face and down on the other side of the net for a point. She hit .526 (23 kills – 3 errors – 38 attempts).


Wisconsin hit .326 (58-15-132), led by Tionna Williams and Sydney Hilley who each hit .667. Hilley tallied a career-high seven kills in tonight’s win.


Another spark on offense was redshirt junior Madison Duello who recorded 10 kills.


Defensively, the Badgers held the advantage over the Illini in digs (53-48) and blocks (8-5). Tiffany Clark (16) and M.E. Dodge (12) both had double-digit digs while Williams and Duello recorded a team-best five blocks.


At the service line, redshirt sophomore Molly Haggerty aced the Illini three times.


Notes to know

  • Sophomore Dana Rettke recorded a career-high 23 kills while hitting .526 (23K – 3E – 38TA), including a career-high 38 attack attempts.
  • Sophomore Sydney Hilley recorded a career-high seven kills.
  • Wisconsin improves to 6-0 when they hit over .300. The Badgers hit .326 for the match while holding Illinois to .226.
  • UW out blocked its 11th opponent of the season, finishing with an 8-5 advantage.
  • Badgers improve to 4-2 against the top 25 this season.


Straight from the court

“When Sarah Dodd came in to serve in the second set, that was the turning point in the match. There’s no doubt about it. That was a big time moment and it uplifted everybody. She was the little engine that could and came in there, and not only put her serve in, but she put some tough balls in there.”


-Head coach Kelly Sheffield


“We struggled a little bit in the beginning with passing but that got better as the match went on and Sydney was giving me great balls. It didn’t matter if it was a perfect pass or it needed a little bit of an extra something, she was doing a fantastic job. That was a team effort right there, it really was.”


-Middle blocker Dana Rettke


Up next

The Badgers wrap up their four-match road swing at Iowa on Saturday. The match begins at 7 p.m. from Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.