Coming up short


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Nov. 4, 2012

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3 Penn State 3, Wisconsin 0
Rec Hall • University Park, Pa.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd
 Wisconsin
20 15 22
 Penn State
25 25 25
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• Attendance: 3,112
 Stats Leaders
Wisconsin Penn State
Bailey - 11 Kills Scott - 14
Thomas - 33 Assists Hancock - 40
Bailey - .579 Hit %
Slay - .500
Hickey, Thomas - 9 Digs Hancock, Gonzalez - 11
Thomas, Workman - 1  Aces Hancock - 2
 Stats Comparison
WIS PSU
 Kills 37 47
 Hitting Pct. .219 .306
 Assists 35 44
 Service Aces 2 6
 Digs 41 48
 Total Blocks 10 6.5
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University Park, Pa. -- Heading into Sunday's matchup at No. 3 Penn State, the Wisconsin volleyball team knew it would need its best effort to have any hopes of upsetting the top team in the Big Ten. On this day, effort wasn't the issue as the Badgers (16-11, 4-10 Big Ten) fell to the Nittany Lions (23-2, 13-1) in straight sets, 25-20, 25-15, 25-22.

"I was proud of the effort of our team," head coach Pete Waite said. "We hung in there and kept battling. Penn State is a team that takes some getting used to because they overpower you at just about every position. We competed pretty well. It's still a loss and it's hard to feel good about it but that's a phenomenal team and obviously this program at Penn State has done some great things the last 7-8 years."

 Fast Facts
• Third-set rally falls short as Badgers are swept
• Reshel with most kills since Sept. 1
• UW outblocks No. 1 blocking team in Big Ten, 10-6.5

Penn State started the first set quickly, jumping out to a 6-1 lead before Wisconsin called a timeout. The Badgers eventually trimmed the lead to three points, 10-7, but the Nittany Lions took control and led 20-11 before UW started to get back into the set. Facing set point at 24-17, Wisconsin ran off three straight points to force a PSU timeout but a kill from Ariel Scott gave the Nittany Lions a 1-0 advantage.

Wisconsin was the one to jump out to the quick start in set No. 2, leading 5-2 early. Penn State regrouped, and with the set tied 7-7, went on a 7-2 run. A kill by Julie Mikaelsen cut the Badger deficit to 16-12, but PSU scored nine of the last 12 points to take the set 25-15.

After the break, it looked like the Nittany Lions would make quick work of the Badgers, jumping out to a 10-5 lead. UW refused to give up, however, with Ellen Chapman punctuating a short run with a kill to make the score 12-10.

Penn State again extended its lead to five points, 21-16, when the Badgers stormed back behind the play of Alexis Mitchell. Mitchell accounted for the last three points of a 5-0 UW run that tied the game at 21-21. Penn State's Deja McClendon ended the Wisconsin streak with a kill, and with Micha Hancock serving, the Nittany Lions ran off another three-straight points. After UW saved one match point, Scott put the set and match away for PSU with her 14th kill of the day.

"There were some nice things we saw out there but we just couldn't get past them at the end," Waite said. "I think we had it at 21-22 or something like that and Hancock, who is one of the top jump-servers in the nation, got back there with the serve. That's always a big difference too, who's serving at the time you're trying to make a run."

The Badgers were led by senior Bailey Reshel, who came off the bench to record 11 kills, her best outing since a 15-kill effort vs. Long Beach State on Sept. 1. Reshel, whose .579 hitting percentage was a career high, had missed eight games with a head injury earlier in the season.

"We had a couple people do some nice things," Waite said. "Baily Reshel just had a fantastic match for us. A month ago she was out with a concussion for a couple of weeks so we were so happy to see her get back. It was good to see some things that we were working on, Mary Ording and Elle Chapman hit some line shots, things that they've been needing to do to grow as players."

As a team, Wisconsin outblocked what had been the No. 1 blocking team in the Big Ten, 10.0-6.5. Ording led the way with 3.5 blocks.

"There were just times they were just going over the top of us and there's not a lot that you can do," Waite said. "You're trying to defend around that but our blockers are jumping as high as they can. Even Ellen Chapman at 6-4 or 6-5, they've got some who are bigger and can jump higher. So that's difficult."

The Badgers continue their road swing with a pair of matches at Michigan and Michigan State next weekend.
 
"The biggest thing is that if we get people on the same page on the same day then we can do some good things," Waite said. "And I'm not saying people had bad games today because I think overall we did some good things. We're going to Michigan and Michigan State next weekend. We've already beaten Michigan and we'd love to beat Michigan State so we'd love to get those on the road."

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