No. 7 Badgers volleyball sweeps Michigan State for fourth straight win
EAST LANSING, Mich. — After being pushed to the limit by Michigan the night before, the University of Wisconsin made quick things of it Saturday night with a sweep of Michigan State.
Sophomores Dana Rettke and Grace Loberg each had 11 kills to lead the way for the No. 7 Badgers as they beat the Spartans 25-14, 25-20, 25-23. The victory was the fourth straight for the Badgers.
The Badgers (16-4, 9-3 Big Ten) looked like they were dragging early on following their five-set win over the Wolverines, as the Spartans (15-10, 3-9) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set. But the Badgers quickly regained their equilibrium and pulled away with a 13-3 run at the end of the set.
“Something you’ve got to feel encouraged about is I’m not sure the beginning of the match could’ve started any worse,” coach Kelly Sheffield said. “You come back and win 25-14 and that’s certainly something you’ve got to feel pretty good about.”
Loberg, who hit -.021 against Michigan with 12 hitting errors to go with her 11 kills, had a much cleaner match against the Spartans with just two errors as she hit .346.
“She was hitting the right shots a little bit better,” Sheffield said. “Last night I thought she was getting a little bit stressed and not hitting what the defense was giving her. You go back and watch the film and it’s like, oh my goodness, there’s an incredible amount of room over here for you to attack at and you’re choosing the wrong shot or trying to force things. I thought she lowered that a little bit.”
The match marked the first and only career meeting for UW redshirt sophomore Molly Haggerty and her sister Maddie, a redshirt senior for the Spartans. Maddie had a service ace on Molly but Molly got a block on Maddie. Molly had five kills and hit .286, while Maddie finished with seven kills and hit .045.
UW hit .319 for the match with 12 hitting errors, while Michigan State hit just .146 with 18 errors.
Junior libero Tiffany Clark, coming off a career-high 33 digs at Michigan, had 12 to lead both teams.
“I think we continue to get better and there’s obviously some things we need to continue to improve on,” Sheffield said. “Those are the fun teams to be on, a team that’s getting better and still has quite a bit of things they can keep working on. I think we’re trending in the right direction.”
Wisconsin 25 25 25
Michigan State 14 20 23
WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Hilley 1-6-1, Williams 7-0-1, Rettke 11-0-4, Duello 6-5-1, Dodge 0-3-0, Haggerty 5-8-2, Dodd 0-1-0, Clark 0-12-0, Loberg 11-7-1, Whalen 0-0-0. Totals 41-42-5.
MICHIGAN STATE (kills-digs-blocks) — Chronowski 8-2-1, Haggerty 7-7-0, Johnson 8-1-1, Poljan 5-1-3, Swartz 3-1-3, Gros 1-0-2, Shklyar 0-4-0, Cox 0-11-0, Midgette 0-0-0, Gibbs 0-2-0, McLean 0-3-0. Totals 32-32-6.
Hitting percentage — W .319, MS .146. Aces — W 4 (Rettke 2), MS 4 (Shklyar 3). Assists — W 38 (Hilley 36), MS 29 (Shklyar 14). Att. — 3,098.