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No. 15 Badgers swept by No. 16 Michigan

Game Photo
Michigan 16 Michigan 3, 15 Wisconsin 0
UW Field House • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 4,690

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Michigan 28 25 25 -- --
 Wisconsin 26 20 21 -- --
 Stats Leaders
Cross - 12 Kills Chapman - 12
Dannemiller - 35 Assists Carlini - 31
Davis - .375 Hit %
Carlini - .300
Morales - 30 Digs Hickey - 18
Two tied - 5 Blocks Thompson - 6
None  Aces Chapman - 2
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 47 43
 Hitting Pct. .223 .119
 Assists 44 38
 Service Aces 0 2
 Digs 62 66
 Total Blocks 11.0 9.0
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Oct. 18, 2013

MADISON, Wis.-- The 15th-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team could not find its groove and was swept for the second match in a row. The Badgers (15-4 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) fell to 16th-ranked Michigan 28-26, 25-20, 25-21 on Friday night in front of 4,690 fans in the UW Field House.

“It was disappointing,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Probably the first match all year that we were punchless. I thought Michigan played like the more desperate team for a victory tonight. It meant more to them for them to stay in the top half of the conference than it did for us to stay with the upper echelon.”

 Fast Facts
• Wisconsin loses two straight for first time this season
Lauren Carlini recorded 11th career double-double
• Badgers don't get aced for first time this year

The loss drops the Badgers into a fifth-place tie in the Big Ten Conference standings with Northwestern.

Wisconsin hit just .119 (43 kills – 26 errors – 143 attempts) for the match, a season low for the Badgers in Big Ten play. UW’s lackluster performance on offense was coupled with 11 blocks from Michigan (13-5, 3-4), two more than the Badgers.

Wisconsin’s Dominique Thompson led all players with six blocks while Lauren Carlini added five stuffs for UW.

Junior Ellen Chapman led Wisconsin with 12 kills while junior Deme Morales added 10 kills. Carlini put up 31 assists running the Badger offense.

Michigan hit .223 (47-16-139) as a team with double-figure kill performances from Jennifer Cross (12), Lexi Erwin (11) and Ally Davis (11).

Despite the loss, the Badgers out-dug the Wolverines 66 to 62, led by three players with double-figure digs. Senior Annemarie Hickey led all players with 18 saves followed by Carlini (13) and junior Courtney Thomas (12).

For the first time this season, Wisconsin did not get aced in the match and finished with two service aces, both from Chapman, and five service errors.

“We blew a lot of assignments,” said Sheffield of his team, both on offense and defense. “We didn’t work too hard in transition. Our transition game was nonexistent and that’s the reason why we had so many errors. When you don’t work hard in transition, it makes it really tough for you to work around a block.”

Michigan squeaked by in the first set with a 28-26 win. The set was neck-and-neck through its entirety, featuring 20 ties and 10 lead changes. Morales, Thompson and Chapman each had four kills for the Badgers, but it was not enough to overcome the team’s .086 attack percentage (16-11–58). A kill and block from Cross sealed the set.

“I think in the first set, that was just a matter of effort and battle that we didn’t put in in the very end,” said Carlini. “In the second game, we just started off so slow and so dead. It was quiet out there and it is hard to come back from a deficit like that. I know we battled at the end but it was just too late. So we have to know that when something bad starts to happen and they start getting points that we have to battle back and we have to stop it right away. We just can’t let it landslide.”

The Wolverines jumped out to a commanding 8-1 lead in the second set and lead by as many as 12 points (22-12) to win the set. The Badger offense looked uninspired and could not seem to find the spark they needed. Though Wisconsin was able to hang on through five Michigan set points, they could not overcome the early deficit.

Wisconsin’s offense initially looked re-energized in the third set, but the team went back-and-forth with Michigan, facing seven tie scores. Chapman contributed seven kills in the set, but the team’s offense did not follow suit and hit just .062 (14-11-48). Three straight attack errors by the Badgers solidified the Michigan win.

“This was a final four team (last season) that played with a lot of heart and I think we learned that we’ve got a ways to go,” said Sheffield. “It certainly doesn’t get any easier on Sunday, but I think one of the things I’m looking forward to is seeing how much pride we’ve got after that.”

Wisconsin continues Big Ten competition on Sunday as its hosts No. 5 Michigan State. Match time is 1 p.m., in the UW Field House.

“I think one big thing is just to forget about this game,” said Hickey. “It is over and we can’t go back and we can’t take it back. Michigan State is a really good team and they are going to be out to fight. They just lost a big game and their still top five in the nation and they are going to bring it and that is something that is going to be key for us, to just let this game go and we have another opportunity.”

Volleyball vs Minnesota
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