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Masterful fifth set propels Badgers to 3-2 win over Hawkeyes

Oct. 13, 2012

Wisconsin 3, Iowa 2
Carver Hawkeye Arena • Iowa City, Iowa
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
25 14 25 21 15
21 25 18 25 10
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• Attendance: 1,117
 Stats Leaders
Champman - 20 Kills Lovell - 19
Thomas - 52 Assists Dailey - 53
Ording - .368 Hit %
Dietz - .444
Hickey - 25 Digs Yeager - 20
Mitchell - 6 Blocks Leppek - 5
Thomas - 2  Aces Dietz - 3
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 63 60
 Hitting Pct. .247 .205
 Assists 62 60
 Service Aces 6 8
 Digs 77 80
 Total Blocks 13 8
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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A dominating performance in the fifth set propelled the Wisconsin volleyball team to a hard-fought, 3-2, victory over Iowa on the road Saturday night in Iowa City.

It was no surprise that tied 2-2 in the match -- having played back and forth volleyball all night --Wisconsin (15-6, 3-5) and Iowa (10-11, 2-6) would open up the fifth and deciding set trading points. Both teams stood at 3-3 before the Badgers decided to take control of the match, opening up an insurmountable 9-3 lead off five-straight serves from sophomore Courtney Thomas

 Fast Facts
Ellen Chapman fell just one short of her career-high mark in digs with 20 Saturday
• The match was just the third this season to go to five sets for Wisconin (2-1)
• Wisconsin is now 2-2 in Big Ten road games this season

The Hawkeyes would score just two more points in the set as sophomore Ellen Chapman sealed the deal with her 20th kill of the night for the 15-10 set win the Badgers’ third conference victory.

The victory marks a split on the weekend for Wisconsin after dropping a match on the road to No. 3 Nebraska the night before, while also leveling the Badgers’ conference road record to 2-2.

“That’s a good team and we knew that,” head coach Pete Waite said of Iowa. “Beating Purdue at Purdue in three [last week], that’s phenomenal. They took Minnesota to four last night, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

The Badgers and Hawkeyes stood locked in a 7-7 tie early in the first set before three-straight points put Wisconsin up 10-7. UW further extended its lead to 17-12 and later 21-17. Iowa made a late push with three-straight points to close the gap to 21-10, but the Badgers won four of the final five points to take the first set 25-21 and a 1-0 lead.

Wisconsin opened the second set with a 4-2 lead off a service ace from sophomore Crystal Graff, but the Hawkeyes came back to tie the score at 5-5. Iowa then took off on a 6-1 run to open up at 10-6 lead, eventually stretching that margin to 19-11.

The Badgers were never able to chip away at the Hawkeyes’ lead from there as Iowa ran away with the second set down the stretch, tying the match with a 25-14 win.

For all the offense the Badgers lacked in the second set, they made up for to begin the third, racing out to a 5-1 lead off two kills from Chapman and an ace from senior Alexis Mitchell. From there, Iowa held tough, six times brining the score to within one point and once tying the score, but Wisconsin never trailed in the third set.

The Badgers led 19-17 late before running away with the third set,thanks to a commanding 6-1 run to win 25-18, establishing a 2-1 match lead. Wisconsin hit nearly .300 in the third set, with 12 kills and just three errors on 34 attacks.

The Badgers fell to an early 8-3 deficit in the fourth set before Waite called a timeout to reorganize his team. Wisconsin responded fantastically with a 7-1 run to take a 10-9 lead. From there, both teams traded points, with three lead changes until Iowa opened up the set 20-15.

With the Hawkeyes up 24-19, the Badgers hung tough forcing a third set point. But Iowa won that third set point and evened the match at two apiece with a 25-21 win.

“With the players, it’s a matter of them playing together and working hard as a team,” Waite said. “And it’s not always easy when you’re on the road. But they did well and came away with a win.”

Chapman’s 20 kills were just one short of a career high, while Mitchell added 12 kills of her own. Mitchell also turned in a phenomenal performance at the net, contributing a team-high six blocks. Junior Julie Mikaelsen and Thomas finished the evening with five blocks apiece.

“She did great,” Waite said of Chapman. “She hit a really high percentage, she did really well.”

Thomas also picked up 52 assists in addition to nine digs and two service aces. Leading the Badgers in digs Saturday was junior Annemarie Hickey who turned in 25. Graff contributed another 14 digs while Mikaelsen added 12.

As a team, the Badgers hit .327 on the night (63-22-166) while out-blocking the Hawkeyes 13-8,

Waite said that the win against Iowa was much needed, especially after a tough loss on the road the night before.

 “We talked to the team about that,” Waite said. “Sometimes they’re so upset when they don’t beat a team like Nebraska. And they have to understand that a win against Iowa is just as important. A ‘W’ is a ‘W’ and you have to get that win in the Big Ten because anybody can beat anybody else on a given day.”

The Badgers face a tough test next, with a mid-week match up against Minnesota Wednesday in Minneapolis. Match time for that contest is 7 p.m.

Volleyball vs Minnesota
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