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No repeat: Badgers down Wolfpack 3-1 at NC State Invitational

Game Photo
Wisconsin Wisconsin 3, NC State 1
NC State Invitational
Reynolds Colesium • Raliegh, N.C. • Attendance: 1,220

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NC State


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
25 25 20 25 --
 NC State
13 19 25 18 --
 Stats Leaders
Chapman - 15 Kills Two tied - 11
Carlini -37 Assists Aljoe - 33
Thompson - .444 Hit %
Buckley - .233
Morey - 20 Digs Aljoe - 15
Nelson - 5 Blocks Two tied - 4
Graff - 3  Aces Two tied - 1
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 46 39
 Hitting Pct. .162 .041
 Assists 42 36
 Service Aces 8 2
 Digs 62 62
 Total Blocks 9.0 8.0
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Sept. 20, 2013

RALIEGH, N.C.--The one thing the Badger volleyball team wanted to avoid against NC State in the opening round of the NC State Invitational on Friday night was a repeat of two years ago.

In 2010, the two teams met in this same tournament with NC State coming back from a 0-2 deficit to win the match 3-2.

It started to look like a repeat as the Badgers won the first two sets and NC State took the third set. But UW stopped the Wolfpack rally this time, winning the fourth set and the match 25-13, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers improve to 9-1 on season
• UW aces Wolfpack eight times
• Three Badgers tally double-digits kills and digs

Behind some tough serves, the Badgers (9-1) dominated the first set, holding NC State (8-2) to a negative .032 attack percentage. Wisconsin had three aces in the set, including two from junior Crystal Graff, who saw her first action of the season starting in place of the injured Courtney Thomas.

UW busted open the second set, breaking an 11-11 tie by outscoring the Wolfpack 9-2 to take a 20-13 lead.

But that all changed in the third set as the Badgers went away from their scouting report.

“I thought we got away from the game plan from an offensive standpoint and where we were hitting our shots,” said first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield.  “I thought that was a big difference in game three, I thought we let them off the hook.”

The Badgers led by as many as four points in the third set, including at 13-9 before NC State started its comeback. With the set tied at 18, the Wolfpack went on a 7-2 run to win the third period.

“I thought (our serving) let them off easy and that woke up the crowd,” said Sheffield. “That’s one thing we talked about. We got sloppy and we got away from what we were trying to do and we let these guys back in the ball game.”

NC State couldn’t maintain its comeback in set four as Wisconsin used two late blocks to break open the period. The Badgers led 18-15 before a block by Dominique Thompson and Lauren Carlini was followed by a block from Thompson and Ellen Chapman put UW up 22-17. Thompson scored a service ace to give UW match point, which came on a Wolfpack hitting error.

“They run a really high-ball offense to the antennas and early on we were having a tough time with the timing of our swing block,” explained Sheffield. “As the match went on, we got a little more patient and had some good stuff blocks there.”

In addition to his team’s blocking, Sheffield credited his team’s defense and serving for the win.  

“I thought out defensive effort was really, really good especially late in the match,” said Sheffield. “I thought defensively we were playing really well.

“Our serve was really good. We were putting a lot of pressure on them, putting the ball where we wanted to and getting them out of system.”

Both teams finished with 62 digs while UW outblocked the Wolfpack 9-8. Freshman Haleigh Nelson, playing in her home state for the first time in college, led all players with five blocks. Thomas added four blocks.

Taylor Morey led all players with 20 digs while Carlini and Deme Morales both tallied double-doubles with 10 digs apiece.

Carlini put up 37 assists at setter while Morales was one of three Badger players in double-digit kills with 13. Chapman led all player with 15 kills and Thompson put away 10.

Wisconsin hit .162 (46 kills – 24 errors – 136 attempts) while NC State hit just .041 (39-33-147), the sixth opponent this season the Badgers have held under .100. The Wolfpack hit negative in the first and fourth sets.

UW aced the Wolfpack eight times while getting aced only twice, the 10th time this season the Badgers have recorded more aces than their opponent. Graff led Wisconsin with a career-best three aces while Morales added two scores.

The Badgers wrap up tournament play on Saturday with matches against VCU at 9:30 .m. and Colgate at 4 p.m.

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