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No. 16 Badgers upset by Illinois


Game Photo
Illinois Illinois 3, 16 Wisconsin 1
UW Field House • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 3,657

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Wisconsin

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Illinois 25 28 10 25 --
 Wisconsin 22 26 25 22 --
 Stats Leaders
ILL WIS
McMahon - 20 Kills Morales - 17
Viliunas - 44 Assists Carlini - 46
McMahon - .375 Hit %
Morales - .279
Beltran - 21 Digs Hickey - 21
Mayers - 6 Blocks Two tied - 5
None  Aces Two tied - 2
 Stats Comparison
ILL WIS
 Kills 57 59
 Hitting Pct. .204 .218
 Assists 55 58
 Service Aces 0 5
 Digs 82 78
 Total Blocks 10.5 10.5
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Oct. 27, 2013

MADISON, Wis.-- After commanding wins over No. 5 Michigan State and No. 7 Minnesota, the 16th-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team couldn’t maintain its win streak, falling to Illinois 3-1 on Sunday afternoon in the UW Field House. The Badgers dropped into a tie for fourth place in the Big Ten Conference with a 25-22, 28-26, 10-25, 25-22 loss to the Fighting Illini.

“I don’t think that had any factor at all with the outcome of the match today,” said UW head coach Kelly Sheffield of his team’s performance after coming off two big wins. “When it got right down to it and you look at the three games that they won – by three, by two, by three – one team executed when the game was on the line and one team didn’t.

“Illinois is fighting for their NCAA tournament berth lives and I don’t think we’re in better or worse shape than anybody else in the league. It’s the league. There is not an off weekend as you can tell.” 

 Fast Facts
• Second time this season Badgers were not aced by opponent
Deme Morales and Lauren Carlini post double-doubles
• Second time this season five UW players recorded double-figure digs

Wisconsin (17-5 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) outperformed the Illini in nearly every statistical category. The Badgers posted a higher attack percentage, hitting .218 (59 kills – 21 errors – 174 attempts) compared to the Illini’s .204 (57-24-162).

UW’s offense tallied more kills than Illinois, led by two juniors with double-figure kills. Deme Morales put up 17, just one shy of tying her career high, and Ellen Chapman posted 16 kills, the 19th time she has recorded double-figure kills this season.  

Illinois (9-11, 5-5) was led by Liz McMahon, who has 20 kills, while Jocelyn Birks (15) and Morganne Criswell (10) also added double figures.

“I think we, as a team, beat ourselves,” said Morales. “I don’t think it was so much Illinois that did anything spectacular. We knew what they were going to do. It’s just that we didn’t execute what we had planned on doing.”

The Badgers also recorded more service aces (5-0) than Illinois. Freshman Lauren Carlini and Morales both contributed two service aces apiece while Courtney Thomas added one. Wisconsin did, however, also record nine service errors compared to seven for the Illini. UW was not aced in a match for the second time this season.

Defensively, both teams performed similarly. Wisconsin and Illinois each posted 10.5 team blocks, while the Illini out-dug the Badgers 82 to 78.

At the net, freshman Haleigh Nelson and junior Dominique Thompson led Wisconsin. The starting middles posted four block assists and one solo block each.

For the second time this season, five players put up double-figure digs for Wisconsin. Senior Annemarie Hickey tied for match-high honors with 21 saves, her fourth match this season with 20-plus digs. Morales added 18 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. Carlini (14), Thomas (12) and sophomore Taylor Morey (11) rounded out the Badger defense.

Carlini’s 14 digs coupled with 46 assists also gave the freshman her 13th career double-double.

“I think they just really adjusted well to what we were trying to do,” said Carlini of the Illini win. “I think we were maybe a step behind in that sense, that we weren’t adjusting quick enough and I think we have to realize things earlier and have more communication on the court, especially from back row to front row, and talking to our hitters and saying ‘Hey, this is open. This shot is good, this one is not.’”

The Badgers fell behind in the first set but went on a 5-1 run and took their only lead of the set at 6-5. Though Wisconsin was able to cut the lead to one point at 22-21, four service errors in the set, including one at 23-21, proved costly and helped solidify a 25-22 Illinois win.

The second set started out close but Wisconsin was able to take a 9-7 lead with help from a kill, an ace and an assist from Morales. The set was tied 15 times and the Badgers held off three Illinois set points and also served for the set at 26-25. But three straight Illini points put the visiting team up 2-0 in the match.

The Badgers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set, led by a block and two service aces from Carlini. The team breezed by the Illini, taking its largest lead at 23-8, assisted by three Illinois net violations.  Wisconsin hit .394 (15-2-33) in a 25-10 win.

“To tell you the truth, it wasn’t much of me,” said Sheffield of his team winning the third set out of the locker room. “There was no Knute Rockney speech or fire and brimstone …  It was just our players getting a little better feel to the different tempo of offense.

“That’s the funny thing about our sport, games can take off like that and it did and it was in our favor and then you saw what happened in game four. They got right back to it. We didn’t let up. We just didn’t make the winning plays when it was time to be made.”

Wisconsin couldn’t maintain its momentum in the fourth set as Illinois broke a 6-6 tie to take an 11-7 lead. The Badgers worked their way back into the set and cut the lead to one (22-21) but three kills by the Illinois finalized the match win.

“We were starting to make that comeback in game four and we had a couple service errors and a missed defensive assignment,” said Sheffield. “You had your opportunities and we weren’t able to cash in on that when their backs are against the wall. It’s a work in progress here, it always is. When it got right down to it, it wasn’t that we weren’t making the plays, we were erring when game four was up for grabs.”

The Badgers get back on the court Friday, Nov. 1 as they travel to Bloomington, Ind., to take on Indiana. Game time against the Hoosiers is 6 p.m.

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