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No. 23 Badgers come from behind to down Iowa 3-1

Game Photo
Wisconsin 23 Wisconsin 3, Iowa 1 
Carver-Hawkeye Arena • Iowa City, Iowa • Attendance: 1,122

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
17 25 25 25 --
25 19 17 20 --
 Stats Leaders
Two tied - 13 Kills Lovell - 14
Carlini - 46 Assists Two tied - 17
Thompson - .346 Hit %
Klostermann - 1.000
Morey - 21 Digs Yeager - 19
Thompson - 4 Blocks Dietz -6
Three tied - 2  Aces Dietz - 5
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 54 42
 Hitting Pct. .201 .141
 Assists 53 39
 Service Aces 8 5
 Digs 64 74
 Total Blocks 8 11
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Oct. 2, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- After losing the first set, the 23rd-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team came back to beat Iowa (9-6 overall, 0-3 Big Ten) on Wednesday night in Iowa City. The Badgers downed the Hawkeyes 17-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 to improve to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2007. The Badgers’ 14-1 mark ties the 1996 start as the fourth-best opening in program history with one loss.

“I think we probably, especially early on, set the game of volleyball back about 15 years. I thought early on it was very, very sloppy and ugly and not a way that we’ve played throughout most of the season, that’s for sure,” said first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield on his team’s sluggish start. “I thought we really, really grinded. They didn’t give up on themselves or each other at all.”

 Fast Facts
• First time since 2007 Wisconsin is 3-0 in Big Ten play
Dominique Thompson and Courtney Thomas led team with 13 kills each
• Thomas recorded seventh season double-double, and freshman Lauren Carlini recorded her career eighth double-double

Wisconsin’s offense lacked energy in the first set, hitting a negative 0.044 (9 kills – 11 errors – 45 attempts). Hitting just .097 (8-5-31), Iowa’s offense was not much more impressive, but the Hawkeyes’ defense was the key difference-maker in this set as they out-blocked Wisconsin, 6-1. 

“They had a couple servers we had a really, really tough time with,” Sheffield said, but added, “I thought our serving was a real factor tonight. I thought we did that, and our transition game was great, especially after the first set.” 

The Wisconsin offense did a major turn-around in the second set as the Badgers hit .350 (18-4-40) as a team. Despite a 6-2 Iowa run to start the set, the Badgers pulled ahead with a 5-0 run behind the serve of freshman Lauren Carlini to make it 14-9. There was no looking back for Wisconsin as UW finished off the Hawkeyes with a little help from junior Dominique Thompson, who chipped in seven kills. 

The Badgers cruised to a 6-1 lead in the third set. Though the Hawkeyes were able to tie the set at 10-10, Wisconsin took the reigns and captured its biggest lead of the night at 22-12. The team also stepped it up a notch on defense, out-blocking Iowa 3-0 and holding the Hawkeye offense to a mere .026 (9-8-38) attack percentage.

Though Wisconsin gained a comfortable 6-1 lead in the last set, Iowa once again was able to tie the score at 12-12 and four more times thereafter. Both teams were evenly matched offensively during this set as Wisconsin recorded a .262 attack percentage (14-3-42) compared to .256 (15-4-43) from Iowa, but two blocks by freshmen Haleigh Nelson and Carlini helped solidify the match win. 

Despite being out-blocked 11-8 and out-dug 74-64, Wisconsin was able to pull through the match thanks to its attack percentage and eight service aces. Overall, the Badgers hit .201 (54-21-164) against an Iowa team that hit .141 (42-22-142).

The Badger offense was led by three juniors. Thompson and Courtney Thomas led the team with 13 kills each, and Ellen Chapman followed with 11 putaways. Carlini racked up 46 assists and 13 digs to record her eighth double-double of the season, and Thomas added 14 digs to record her seventh double-double of 2013. Sophomore transfer Taylor Morey added a game-high 21 digs, her fifth 20-plus match this season.

“It was a little bit sloppy at the beginning, and we figured it out,” said Thomas. “The game’s over, we won. We’re onto Nebraska already.”

The Badgers continue their four-match road trip as they travel to No. 10 Nebraska on Saturday. Game time against the Cornhuskers is 7 p.m.

Volleyball vs Minnesota
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