Volleyball rallies to down Georgia Southern


Sept. 14, 2012

Wisconsin 3, Georgia Southern 2
Hanner Fieldhouse • Statesboro, Ga.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Wisconsin
19 25 21 25 15
 Georgia Southern
25 19 25 20 12
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• Attendance: 487
 Stats Leaders
Wisconsin Ga Southern
Mitchell/Mikaelsen-15 Kills Bellissimo - 14
Thomas - 49 Assists Van Dyke - 46
Mitchell - .394 Hit %
Paskert - .205
Hickey -22 Digs Beecher - 28
Mitchell/Mikaelsen-5 Blocks Coley/VanDyke-4
Workman - 2  Aces Five tied - 1
 Stats Comparison
WIS GSU
 Kills 61 57
 Hitting Pct. .212 .180
 Assists 56 51
 Service Aces 4 5
 Digs 76 85
 Total Blocks 12 7
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MADISON, Wis. - Rallying from a 10-6 deficit in the fifth set, the Wisconsin volleyball team scored six straight points and went on to down Georgia Southern 3-2 on Friday night. The Badgers edged the Eagles 19-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12 in the second round of the Georgia Southern Eagle Invitational.

"Overall, we're showing signs that this team does not lay down when things are tough," said UW head coach Pete Waite. "They battle back no matter what the situation, so that's nice to see."

 Fast Facts
• Badgers win first five-set match of the season
• Wisconsin rallies from 10-6 deficit in fifth set
• Mitchell, Mikaelsen lead UW with 15 kills apiece

After splitting the first two sets, the Badgers (10-1) lost the third set to trail 2-1 in the match. Wisconsin used its defense to take the fourth set and even the match. In the set, UW had three blocks and outdug the Eagles 18-14, led by 10 digs from Annemarie Hickey.

"From the beginning, Georgia Southern (7-5) was playing some great volleyball and nothing was coming easy to us," said Waite. "We weren't quite in sync until the very end when we really started rolling.

"In the fourth set, we started going with Deme Morales all the way around because of the fire she was bringing. She was by far the shortest front-row player on both teams but she played with the biggest heart and that made a big difference to us. That just really gave everybody confidence and the feeling that they could come back at any time."

The fifth set was tied four times early before Southern broke a 4-4 tie, scoring three straight points to take a 7-4 lead. The Eagles upped their lead to 10-6 before the Badgers rallied. Hickey served six straight points and Wisconsin had two blocks to take a 12-10 lead. GSU came back to tie the score at 12 before a kill by Alexis Mitchell and a block by Mitchell and Crystal Graff gave the Badgers match point at 14-12. The Badgers won the match on an Eagle attack error.

"Even in the fifth (set), we were down 6-10 and we were in our last timeout and Annemarie Hickey said on the bench `We're not losing this match. We're going to come back and win,'" said Waite. "It took a few great plays on a number of players part, but that's a great win in a tough environment."

The win was the eighth in a row for Wisconsin.

Mitchell and Julie Mikaelsen led the Badgers on offense, putting away 15 kills apiece. Wisconsin finished with a .212 hitting percentage (61 kills, 23 errors, 179 attempts) while Georgia Southern hit .180 (57-26-172). The Eagles were led by Moriah Bellissimo with 14 kills.

Courtney Thomas put up a career-high 49 assists, running the UW offense.

The Badgers outblocked GSU 12-7 in the match, led by Mitchell and Mikaelsen with five blocks apiece.

Three Badgers finished with double-figure digs, led by Hickey with 22. Caroline Workman added 13 digs and Crystal Graff had 11 saves.

Wisconsin struggled from the service line, recording 13 service errors and only four aces.

The Badgers wrap up tournament play on Saturday, taking on Jacksonville at 9 a.m. and South Alabama at 3 p.m.

ON WISCONSIN
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