UW Health Sports Medicine 

Early deficit buries Badgers in 3-0 loss at No. 3 Cornhuskers


Oct. 12, 2012

3 Nebraska 3, Wisconsin 0
NU Coliseum • Lincoln, Neb.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Wisconsin
22 15 20 -- --
 Nebraska
25 25 25 -- --
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• Attendance: 4,112
 Stats Leaders
Wisconsin Nebraska
Graff - 10 Kills Broekhuis - 12
Thomas - 26 Assists Cook - 37
Ording - .571 Hit %
Cook - .667
Thomas - 26 Digs Werth - 8
Thomas /       Mitchell - 3 Blocks Thramer - 6
Mitchell - 3  Aces Mancuso 3
 Stats Comparison
WIS NEB
 Kills 32 48
 Hitting Pct. .182 .396
 Assists 29 44
 Service Aces 6 7
 Digs 34 31
 Total Blocks 4 8
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LINCOLN, Neb. – Seeing is believing. And on Friday, the Wisconsin volleyball team (14-6, 2-5) saw just why Nebraska (14-2, 6-1) is the No. 3 team in the country. The Badgers dropped three straight sets, 25-22, 25-15, 25-20 for their fifth conference loss of the season.

“They’re a pretty physical team,” head coach Pete Waite said of Nebraska. “And if you’re not bringing your own offense, you’re going to struggle.”

 Fast Facts
Courtney Thomas recorded her 10th double-double of the season
• The Badgers have now played five of their last six games against ranked teams
• Wisconsin was out-hit for just the third time all season

Wisconsin found itself in an early 3-7 hole in the fourth set before a 4-0 run, sparked by the serving of senior Alexis Mitchell, pulled the two teams even. From there, neither team took more than a two-point lead until the Cornhusker’s stretched the set to 18-15 and eventually 24-20. The Badgers fought off two set points, but Nebraska took the third for a narrow 25-22 win.

That close defeat seemed to hang over Wisconsin as it began the second set down 9-1 to Nebraska. Although the Badgers hung tough with the Cornhuskers for the rest of the set, they never could dig themselves out of that early hole and dropped the second set 25-15.

Wisconsin again found itself down big early in the third set, trailing 9-2. This time the Badgers fought back, eventually tying the set, 14-14, off of a kill from junior Julie Mikaelsen. In that 12-5 run, Wisconsin found support courtesy of three kills from sophomore Crystal Graff and two service aces from junior Annemarie Hickey.

The Badgers never took the lead over Nebraska in the third set and the Cornhuskers slowly began to pull away, taking a five-point lead at 22-17. A five-point margin turned out to be the final edge for Nebraska as they took the third set 25-20 to win the match.

Mitchell had three service aces on the night and Hickey added two, while the team committed just three service errors.

“I’ll take that any night,” Waite said of his team’s serving. “But it still comes down to our serve reception. A couple people had off nights and it’s something that they’re going to have to solidify because you have to have that to beat anyone in the league.”

Graff led the Badgers with 10 kills on the night while turning in a .261 hitting percentage (10-4-23). Courtney Thomas meanwhile recorded here 10th double-double of the season with 26 assists and 10 digs—both team-highs.

As a team, Wisconsin hit .182 (32-16-88) and for just the third time all season, the Badgers were out-blocked, 8-4.

“We knew they had a balanced attack,” Waite said. “We felt we got much better on the pass and felt we would give them a better game tonight. But on their home court, I think they play extra well.”

Wisconsin heads to Iowa next and will take on the Hawkeyes Saturday night in Iowa City at 7 p.m.

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