Badgers defeat Michigan State in straight sets, improve to 15-1 in B1G
MADISON, Wis. – The seventh-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team earned its fourth season sweep over a Big Ten Conference opponent on Saturday night, taking down Michigan State in straight sets, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22.
The Badgers (19-5 overall, 15-1 Big Ten) were able to pull away from the Spartans (14-12, 5-11) late in all three sets to remain undefeated at home in conference play this season.
Two Badgers finished with double-digit kills, led by Molly Haggerty with a match-high 14 and followed by Dana Rettke, who chipped in 10 kills to help fuel the Badgers offense. As a team, Wisconsin hit one of its season lows at just .213 (40 kills – 17 errors – 108 attempts) but was able to hold Michigan State to .167 (37 – 20 – 102).
The Wisconsin defense came on a surge in the third set, tallying five of its 10 blocks in the final frame. Redshirt sophomore Danielle Hart led the way with five stuffs while Rettke and Grace Loberg each added four.
Senior Tiffany Clark led all players with 15 digs but the Spartans finished with a 44-37 advantage in saves.
Senior defensive specialist Sarah Dodd made her return to the floor after recovering from a torn ACL suffered in April of 2019, earning a standing ovation from many of the Badger faithful in attendance.
Straight from the Court
“Little bit of an uneven match, to tell you the truth. It wasn’t the prettiest volleyball on our side of the net but we came out of there with a Big Ten sweep. We hadn’t been in the Field House in a while – we’ve been on the road an awful lot. When you’ve been on the road so much, you really appreciate this place and the people here. So it was pretty cool being back.
“The serving I thought was giving our passers some problems. (Michigan State) was moving the ball around really well, keeping us a little bit off balance. I’m not sure we took the smartest out-of-system swings and their block is really, really good as you can see. We don’t get stuffed a whole lot and they certainly jumped on us early – maybe that spooked us a little bit.
“Tonight’s match was about one thing; the work Sarah Dodd put in to put herself in a position to play tonight. With the timing of her injury, we thought her career could be done. She’s been doing everything in practice for a few weeks and she earned that tonight. We certainly appreciated the Field House and all the people acknowledging the work she put in to get back. Down there in the locker room – there wasn’t a dry eye in there. A lot of happy people because everybody sees what she’s done to get back here. We are so proud of her” – Head Coach Kelly Sheffield
Notes to Know
- Wisconsin wins its eighth-straight home match of the Big Ten season.
- Senior Tiffany Clark led all players with 15 digs, her seventh-straight match with double-figure saves.
- Redshirt junior Molly Haggerty led all players with 13 kills, her fifth-straight match with 10-or-more kills.
- Senior Sarah Dodd saw her first action of the season after tearing her ACL in April of 2019.
The Badgers stay in town for a little while as they take on Iowa in Friday night’s Senior Night match.