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Badgers survive scare to remain undefeated

Game Photo
Wisconsin Wisconsin 3, North Dakota State 1
Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse • Fargo, N.D. • Attendance: 579

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North Dakota State


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
25 22 25 25 --
 North Dakota St.
14 25 12 16 --
 Stats Leaders
Chapman - 23 Kills Miron - 8
Thomas - 40 Assists Claxton - 24
Nelson - .727 Hit %
Miron - .273
Morey - 16 Digs Dombeck - 17
Two tied - 3 Blocks Two tied - 4
Thomas - 5  Aces Two tied - 1
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 56 30
 Hitting Pct. .239 .063
 Assists 52 29
 Service Aces 11 2
 Digs 66 58
 Total Blocks 6.0 6.5
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Sept. 7, 2013

FARGO, N.D. -- The Wisconsin volleyball team survived a scare in the second round of the NDSU Classic against the host Bison. The Badgers dropped the second set to winless North Dakota State (0-5) but came back to win the last two frames and improve to 5-0 on the season with a 25-14, 22-25, 25-12, 25-16 win.

First-year head coach Kelly Sheffield changed his line up again for the match, hoping to rest several of his key players. Junior Courtney Thomas returned to setter as freshman Lauren Carlini sat out while continuing to recover from a leg injury. Sheffield also started Deme Morales and Taylor Morey at left side hitter while freshman Tori Blake got the start in the middle. Senior Annemarie Hickey earned her second start of the season at libero.

“Inconsistent was probably a fair word to describe it,” said Sheffield of his early line up.

 Fast Facts
• Chapman leads all players with 23 kills
• Thomas goes over 2,000 career assists
• Badgers improve to 5-0 on season

Wisconsin won the first set easily as junior Ellen Chapman put away eight kills in the first period.

“We didn’t have a lot of offense out there and she took a lot of swings,” said Sheffield of Chapman. “Early on, when she was in, we were dominating the match. When she was in the back row, we were having a tough time scoring. She carried us.”

Chapman finished with a match-high 23 kills, just one short of her career high set last season.

After easily winning the first set, the Badgers struggled in set No. 2, falling behind 9-3 early. UW could never get closer than two points, including at 23-21, but the Bison prevailed to win their first set of the season.

Sheffield switched his line up to start the third set, moving Hickey back to left-side hitter and Morey back to libero. He also subbed in freshman Haleigh Nelson in the middle for Blake late in the second set.

The line-up change helped Wisconsin break an 8-8 tie in the third set, going on a 7-0 run to take a 15-8 lead and win the period.

NDSU rallied in the fourth set and led 9-6 but the Badgers came back behind the play of Nelson, who had two kills and two blocks, to put UW up 13-11. Thompson closed out the win for Wisconsin, scoring on three kills to help the Badgers remain undefeated.  

Thompson finished with a career-high 14 kills while sharing team-high honors with Chapman with three blocks. Nelson finished with eight kills, tying her career best, and hit a career-high .727 (8 kills – 0 errors – 11 attempts).

“She follows the game plan and knows where the weaknesses are in the blocks and our setters the last couple of matches have done a good job of putting her in situations where she can be successful,” said Sheffield of Nelson.

Thomas put up 40 assists at setter, going over the 2,000 mark for her career. She also tied her career best with five service aces as the Badgers had a season-high 11 aces. Morales also tied her career high with three aces.

Wisconsin nearly doubled up the Bison in kills 56-30, and outdug the home team 66-58. Morey led the Badgers with 16 digs while Hickey added 14 digs and Morales 11 saves. UW hit .239 (56-22-142) for the match while NDSU hit just .063 (30-22-126).

The Badgers wrap up play at the NDSU Classic this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. with a match against No. 17 Louisville.

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