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No. 19 Badgers fall at No. 4 Penn State

Game Photo
Wisconsin 4 Penn State 3, 19 Wisconsin 0
Rec Hall • University Park, Pa. • Attendance: 1,980

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Penn State


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
22 17 21 -- --
 Penn State
25 25 25 -- --
 Stats Leaders
Thomas - 11 Kills Scott - 13
Carlini - 28 Assists Hancock - 33
Carlini - .400 Hit %
Whitney - .429
Thomas - 14 Digs McClendon - 17
Two tied - 6 Blocks Slay - 8
Two tied - 1  Aces Four tied - 1
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 41 37
 Hitting Pct. .150 .226
 Assists 39 36
 Service Aces 2 4
 Digs 49 43
 Total Blocks 9 12
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Oct. 12, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After an impressive win on the road against No. 14 Ohio State Friday night, the Wisconsin volleyball team fell to fourth-ranked Penn State Saturday at Rec Hall. The Badgers were swept 25-22, 25-17 and 25-21, bringing them to 15-3 overall this season. With the loss, the team also drops to 4-2 in the Big Ten Conference, tied for fourth place with Minnesota.

"This is a pretty good team that’s at home, that’s won a lot, and they had the last three days off," said first-year UW head coach Kelly Sheffield of Penn State. "I thought we battled. We played the game the right way. We played really hard. There were some great rallies. We executed the game plan… I thought we played really, really hard."

 Fast Facts
• Wisconsin finished with 41 kills to 37 for Penn State
Courtney Thomas recorded ninth double-double of season with 14 digs and 11 kills
• Wisconsin was out-blocked 12-9 

The first set was neck-and-neck throughout, featuring 12 ties and five lead changes. Penn State broke a 14-14 tie, scoring two straight on UW attack errors. The Nittany Lions led by four points at 20-16 but Wisconsin came back to pull within one at 23-22 off a kill by Courtney Thomas. Though junior Ellen Chapman contributed six kills in the set, it was not enough to offset Penn State’s 4.5 blocks and .276 attack percentage (12 kills – 4 error – 29 attempts) as it scored the last two points of the period.

The Badger offense got hot and jumped ahead to a 13-7 lead in the second set, but the Nittany Lions were once again able to tie up the score at 15-15. Behind the serve of junior Lacey Fuller, Penn State then went on a 9-1 run to win the second set with ease. Wisconsin recorded just a .059 (11-9-34) attack percentage in the set.

After being down 4-1 in the third set, Wisconsin pulled ahead 15-9 with the help of three consecutive kills by Chapman, but for the third time PSU was able to tie up the score and jump ahead to victory. Four blocks in the set solidified the match win for the Lions.

"They played a cleaner game serving-wise. I thought that both teams passed the ball fairly well," said Sheffield. "They’re a good team. They were fresh. We battled, but we couldn’t steal a game."

Despite the loss, the Badgers finished with more kills (41) than the Nittany Lions (37), led by junior Courtney Thomas with 11 and Chapman with 10. Though they recorded more kills, Wisconsin’s hitting percentage was just .150 (41-24-113) overall compared to .226 (37-13-106) from Penn State.

Thomas also led the team on the defensive end, recording 14 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. Senior Annemarie Hickey added 12 saves to help Wiscosin out-dig PSU 49-43.

Blocks were a difference-maker for Penn State as they out-blocked Wisconsin 12 – 9. Junior Dominique Thompson and freshman Lauren Carlini led the Badgers with six blocks each.

Serving was also key this match. Wisconsin struggled on the service line, recording just two aces and 10 errors. Penn State, on the other hand, tallied four aces and just four errors.

Penn State was led offensively by senior Ariel Scott with 13 kills and defensively by senior Deja McClendon, who led all players with 17 digs.

"This is a bear of a road trip with these two teams. We’ve got the Michigans coming up next week, and it just doesn’t get any easier," Sheffield said. "I want to make sure that we’re playing the right way. I thought we played better tonight than what we did last night… We went after it, and we were aggressive."

The Badgers return home for a four-match conference home stretch, taking on No. 17 Michigan Friday, Oct. 18 at the Field House. Game time against the Wolverines is 7 p.m.

Volleyball vs Minnesota
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