Badgers fall to No. 10 Gophers in roller coaster third set


Oct. 17, 2012

10 Minnesota 3, Wisconsin 0
Sports Pavilion •  Minneapolis
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Wisconsin
19 22 26 -- --
 Minnesoate
25 25 28 -- --
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• Attendance: 2,672
 Stats Leaders
WISCONSIN MINNESOTA
Chapman -13 Kills Three with 9
Thomas - 34 Assists Palmer - 34
Ording - .778 Hit %
Dixon - .444
Hickey - 13 Digs Santana - 11
Ording - 2 Blocks Dixon - 5
Thomas - 1  Aces Santana - 4
 Stats Comparison
WIS MINN
 Kills 38 43
 Hitting Pct. .194 .248
 Assists 36 41
 Service Aces 1 10
 Digs 39 39
 Total Blocks 3 9
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MINNEAPOLIS -- When rivals face off, it’s never going to be an easy match. The Wisconsin volleyball team played point for point with No. 10 Minnesota (16-4, 4-5) Wednesday night in Minneapolis, but slow starts doomed a late comeback for the Badgers (15-7, 3-6), who fell 3-0 to the Golden Gophers.

“We were just so close and it just comes down to the little things,” said UW head coach Pete Waite.

 Fast Facts
• The Badgers and Gophers faced 22 total ties Wednesday, including 13 in the third set.
• Wisconsin was out-blocked for just the fourth time all season.
Mary Ording hit .778 for the night (7-0-9) and added two blocks.

Down 0-2, the Badgers sparked a late third-set comeback before trading points down the stretch in a set that featured 13 tied scores.

The Badgers and Gophers fought through the beginning of the third set, sitting tied at 7-7. Minnesota began to open a margin from there, taking a 13-9 lead, but aided by a pair of kills from sophomore Ellen Chapman, Wisconsin surged back to again tie the set, 13-13.

A kill from junior Julie Mikaelsen gave Wisconsin its first lead of the night, 14-13, and the Badgers eventually stretched their run to 7-0, establishing a 16-13 lead. Following a timeout, the Gophers put together a run of their own, regaining the lead with four-straight points. A kill from senior Mary Ording tied the set again, at 17-17.

Wisconsin and Minnesota then traded points from there on out, with the Badgers serving set point twice at 24-23 and 25-24. Both times however the Gophers fought off the set point to tie the score. Wisconsin faced match point at 26-25 but a kill from Mikaelsen pushed the score to 26-26, the 13th tie of the set. The Gophers made sure the 14th tie was not to be, taking the last two points for a 28-26 set win and a 3-0 match victory.

“We had them on the brink and we weren’t able to close them out unfortunately,” Waite said. “We had set points in there and, credit to Minnesota, they stayed strong and came back and got it themselves. But we thought it was going to be going to a fourth.”

Wisconsin trailed early in the first set, 3-9, before mounting a fierce comeback that tied the score at 12-12 on the back on two-straight kills from sophomore Crystal Graff. The Badgers never could take the lead and Minnesota eventually opened its lead back up, slowly building a margin over the remainder of the set, before taking the final three points for a 25-19 win.

The Gophers took the first set handedly thanks to eight service aces.

The Badgers again fell down early in the second set with the Gophers jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Once again, Wisconsin fought back. This time down, 12-7, the Badgers took advantage of three-straight Minnesota errors and a block from Ording and sophomore Courtney Thomas to bring the score to within one.

From there, the Gophers and Badgers traded points for much of the remainder of the set, but again Wisconsin could not take the lead. The Badgers six times tied the score, but Minnesota proved the team ready to finish out the set, as they grabbed four of the last five points to take the set 25-22.

“Each set there, we gained the momentum,” Waite said. “From the first, second and to the third. I wish we would have gotten that third one to get going and stay alive.”

The Gophers, who had the second-highest hitting percentage in the NCAA heading into Wednesday’s match, hit .248 (43-17-105) against Wisconsin. The Badgers committed 19 hitting errors and finished the evening .194 (28-19-98).

“There’s a reason they’re that high in the stats,” Waite said. “They’ve got a lot of strong attackers with a lot of shots, so they avoid your block quite a bit.”

Chapman led Wisconsin with 13 kills while junior Annemarie Hickey led the Badgers with 13 digs. Wisconsin was out-blocked for just the fourth time this season, 9-3, while the Gophers finished the evening with 10 service aces to Wisconsin’s one.

Coach Waite said despite the loss, the Badgers showed a lot of fight that will pay off down the stretch as Wisconsin nears the mid-point of conference play.

 “They didn’t just lie down or just keep getting knocked around,” Waite said. “They stepped up and went right back at Minnesota and really stressed them out a bit. It’s going to make us better.”

Wisconsin is back home this Friday to take on Indiana at the UW Field House. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

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