Badgers battle to down VCU in five sets


Game Photo
VCU Wisconsin 3, VCU 2
NC State Invitational
Reynolds Colesium • Raliegh, N.C. • Attendance: 121

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Wisconsin

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 VCU
14 25 26 25 9
 Wisconsin
25 15 28 14 15
 Stats Leaders
VCU WIS
Kriskova - 16 Kills Thompson - 19
Aragao - 38 Assists Carlini - 49
Jones - .370 Hit %
Thompson - .306
Two tied - 13 Digs Morey - 25
Sykes - 11 Blocks Two tied - 6
Love - 2  Aces Thompson - 3
 Stats Comparison
VCU WIS
 Kills 50 61
 Hitting Pct. .213 .190
 Assists 45 55
 Service Aces 4 6
 Digs 54 60
 Total Blocks 13.0 9.0
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Sept. 21 2013

RALIEGH, N.C.--

Battling through some inconsistent play, the Wisconsin volleyball team came out on the winning end with a 25-14, 15-25, 28-26, 14-25, 15-9 victory over VCU in the second round of the NC State Invitational on Saturday morning.

“I’m so proud of this team,” said UW head coach Kelly Sheffield. “This VCU team, they’re a different team than (NC State from) last night. They had some big-time bangers and every other ball was a short serve. Their style was so different and it really stresses you out. The game got going really, really fast because of the speed of their offense. I thought (our team) responded the right way.”

 Fast Facts
• Thompson records career high 19 kills, 3 aces
• Morales puts away career high 18 kills
• Badgers improve to 10-1 on the season

The Badgers (10-1) won the first set but lost the second. Wisconsin trailed 20-16 in the third set but put together a 5-1 run to take a 21-20 lead. Dominique Thompson had four straight kills and teamed with Lauren Carlini on a block to give UW the lead. Wisconsin served for set point four times before a Rams setting error put the Badgers up 2-1 in the match.

Despite winning the third set, Wisconsin struggled in the fourth and VCU sent the match to a fifth set.

“There was a point in game four that you could just see their change in attitude,” said Sheffield of his players. “It went from ‘I’m so frustrated and upset with myself’ to ‘We’re not going to lose this match.’  You could see it that they got angry, they got together and they got determined.”

That determination showed in the fifth set as the Badgers jumped out to an 8-3 lead. The Rams pulled within three (10-7) but UW’s offensive attack won the set. Wisconsin was clicking in the final period as it put away 12 kills and hit .556.

“I thought Deme (Morales) really struggled early but when it was on the line in game five, I thought she was fantastic,” said Sheffield. “I thought Lauren did a really, really good job. She was really determined on getting Dom (Thompson) involved in the offense.”

Morales had four kills in the fifth set to finish with a career-high 18 kills. Thompson led all player with a career-best 19 kills while Ellen Chapman put away 12 kills for Wisconsin. Thompson tied a career high with three service aces as the Badgers scored from the line six times and were aced four times.

The Badgers finished with 11 more kills than the Rams (61-50) but hit just .190 (61 kills -- 31 errors -- 158 attempts) compared to .213 (50-21-136) for VCU. The Rams (10-3) were led by Romana Kriskova with 16 kills, while Kalah Jones added 14 kills.

Carlini put up 49 assists at setter and shared team-high honors with Thompson with six blocks, including two solos.

Wisconsin was outblocked 13-9 by VCU but the Badgers outdug the Rams 60-54. Taylor Mroey led all player with 25 digs while Carlini, Morales and Kt Kvas all added 10 digs.

“I told the team that this is what the NCAA tournament is like,” said Sheffield. “You play one team from one conference with one style and the very next night you play another team in another conference with another style.

“The key to winning is are you able to make those adjustments and we did today.”

The Badgers wrap up tournament play at 4 p.m., Saturday by facing Colgate.

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