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Badgers tame defending national champion Nittany Lions in five sets



Nov. 6, 2011

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Wisconsin 3, 6 Penn State 2
UW Field House • Madison, Wis.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Penn State
24 19 34 25 12
26 25 32 14 15
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• Attendance: 4,391
 Stats Leaders
Scott - 23 Kills Chapman - 18
Hancock - 60 Assists Gabrielsen - 27
Slay - .357 Hit %
Mitchell - .233
Longo - 17 Digs Hickey - 25
Grant/Slay - 6 Blocks Mitchell - 7
Grant/Hancock - 2  Aces Ohlander - 2
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 77 59
 Hitting Pct. .212 .173
 Assists 71 57
 Service Aces 4 2
 Digs 79 86
 Total Blocks 15.0 14.0
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MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin volleyball team rallied numerous times to snap its three-match losing streak, upsetting No. 6 Penn State in front of 4,391 fans at the UW Field House on Sunday afternoon.

The Badgers beat the reigning NCAA champion Nittany Lions 26-24, 25-19, 32-34, 14-25, 15-12 to win their first five-set match of the season. Sixth-ranked PSU is also the highest-ranked opponent that Wisconsin (14-12, 6-8 Big Ten) has beat since upsetting then-No. 2 Penn State on Oct. 27, 2006 in the Field House.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers get first win over PSU since 2006
• UW upsets third ranked opponent this season
• Chapman, Workman set career high marks

Freshman Ellen Chapman led the Badgers with a career-high 18 kills and 14 digs for her third double-double of the season. Junior Bailey Reshel chipped in a season-high 14 kills, while classmate Alexis Mitchell put away 10. Ariel Scott led all players with 23 kills for Penn State (18-6, 11-3).

The Nittany Lions outnumbered the Badgers in kills (77-59) and also kept Wisconsin to a .173 hitting percentage (59 kills – 28 errors – 179 attempts).  Penn State hit .212 (77-34-203) for the match.

Despite Penn State also outblocking the Badgers (15-14), Mitchell led all players individually with seven blocks, including two solo stuffs.

Five players recorded more than 10 digs each for the Badgers, who outdug PSU 86-79. Sophomore Annemarie Hickey led all players with 25 saves, while freshman Courtney Thomas chipped in 17. Chapman and classmate Caroline Workman had a career-high 14 digs each. Senior Janelle Gabrielsen saved 13 attacks.

Both teams got off to a slow start in the first set, with each committing seven attack errors. Penn State used two straight kills from Nia Grant to go up 17-14, its largest lead of the set. After PSU tied the score at 22-22, the Badgers took advantage of a Penn State service error and a kill from Reshel to serve for set point. But the Nittany Lions scored two straight points to tie the set at 24 and force extra points. The Badgers won the set on a kill from Mitchell and a PSU attack error.

The Badgers started the second set trailing 4-1 before scoring four straight points to take the lead (5-4). The two teams tied the next three points before Wisconsin went on a 6-2 run to go up 14-10. Penn State got as close as one point (14-13) but UW dominated the set, keeping the Nittany Lions to a set low .027 hitting percentage.  

Wisconsin went up 5-0 in the third set and kept the lead for most of the frame, including at 21-18 after two straight kills from Thomas. The momentum then changed, as the Nittany Lions went on a 5-1 run to take the lead (23-22). Wisconsin scored on a kill from Chapman and a PSU attack error to get its first of what would be five match points. Neither team went down without a fight in the third set, as they tied the score for seven consecutive points before Penn State pulled away, winning 34-32.

After losing the tough third set, the Badgers struggled in the fourth frame, falling behind by as many as eight points (20-12). Wisconsin tried to rally back but couldn't, as Penn State kept UW to a set-low .091 (9-6-33) mark while hitting a set-high .324 (17-5-37) in the 25-14 set win.

The teams tied the score early in the fifth set (2-2) before the Badgers went on a dominating 7-1 run to take a 9-3 lead. Penn State slowly cut into Wisconsin's lead, pulling within two (14-12) and holding off two Badger match points. A kill from Reshel sealed the upset win.

Wisconsin continues its four-match homestand next weekend when it faces No. 23 Michigan on Friday night and Michigan State on Saturday night.

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