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No. 16 Badgers pluck Hawkeyes in 3-0 sweep

Game Photo
Iowa 16 Wisconsin 3, Iowa 0 
UW Field House • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 3,120

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Iowa 9 14 20 -- --
 Wisconsin 25 25 25 -- --
 Stats Leaders
Lovell - 8 Kills Chapman - 13
Dailey - 18 Assists Carlini - 37
Lovell - .227 Hit %
Thompson - .588
Dailey - 9 Digs Hickey - 15
Leppek - 3 Blocks Nelson - 7
Lovell - 2  Aces Carlini - 2
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 24 52
 Hitting Pct. .060 .367
 Assists 22 49
 Service Aces 3 4
 Digs 32 52
 Total Blocks 4.0 7.0
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Nov. 11, 2013

MADISON, Wis.-- After losing its last two matches, the 16th-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team looked fresh and fierce as it dominated Iowa in a 3-0 sweep Sunday at the Field House. The Badgers won a 25-9, 25-14, 25-20 decision to advance to 19-7 overall and 8-6 in the Big Ten Conference, remaining tied with Michigan State and Illinois for fourth place.

“I think it was a good win for us,” said first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield. “I thought our ball control was really good today; it was exceptional today. The better you’re controlling the ball, the more options you have and it makes it a little bit tougher on the defense when they’re not able to set up their block and wait for you. Our ball control was really great this afternoon.”

 Fast Facts
• Badgers record highest attack percentage of conference play (.367)
Ellen Chapman leads team with 13 kills on .545 attack percentage
• Wisconsin out-digs Iowa 52-32

A composed and dynamic Wisconsin offense was the story of the match as the team recorded a .367 attack percentage (52 kills – 13 errors – 109 attempts), the team’s highest in Big Ten play and second-highest of the season. Iowa managed to hit just .060 (24-18-100) in comparison, the eighth time this season UW has held an opponent under .100.

Three players tallied double-figure kills for the Badger offense. Junior Ellen Chapman led all players with 13 kills, pulling her within 33 of 1,000 career kills, while hitting .545 (13-1-22). Juniors Courtney Thomas and Dominique Thompson followed Chapman with 12 and 10 kills, respectively, followed by Deme Morales with eight. Thompson hit an impressive .588 (10-0-17) while setter Lauren Carlini was a perfect 6-for-6 in attacks today.

Wisconsin put on a more impressive serving performance than during Friday’s match against No. 11 Nebraska. The team recorded four service aces, including two by Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week Lauren Carlini, coupled with just four service errors on the match. Defensive specialist Kt Kvas and Thomas each added one ace for the Badgers. Iowa was equally, if not more impressive at the service line, not recording a single service error the entire match and scoring on three aces.

“We served well. I thought we put pressure on them serving,” Sheffield said. “I can’t believe that (Iowa) didn’t have a serving error. You rarely play a team that doesn’t have a service error so we had to earn every one of our side outs.”

Defensively, the Badgers made it clear why they are the conference leader in digs. Wisconsin put up 52 digs against an Iowa defense that ranks second in the Big Ten in saves. The Hawkeyes mustered just 32 digs as a team. Senior Annemarie Hickey led all players with 15 digs, her 16th double-figure match of the season. Thomas (9), sophomore Taylor Morey (7), Morales (7) and Carlini (6) rounded out the team’s impressive defensive performance.

“When our (players) in the back row are feisty, we can be a pretty good team,” Sheffield said of his team’s defensive performance. “One of the things we talked about going into the match was that we wanted to be ferociously persistent tonight and I think we did that today.”

Wisconsin also won out in the fight at the net, out-blocking Iowa 7-4. Freshman Haleigh Nelson recorded seven blocks to lead all players, and Carlini added three stuffs. On the flip side, Wisconsin’s block coverage also played a crucial role in their offensive dominance.

“I thought we covered our hitters really well,” said Sheffield. “I thought Taylor Morey set the tone early with her coverage. It’s unfortunate that covering isn’t an NCAA statistic, but it’s really critical. It gives your hitters so much more freedom to get up there and be aggressive. When they’re getting blocked off the court, it makes it really tough on your hitters and your setters, but if you’re back there covering after a ball has been blocked and you get another swing, it builds the confidence of our team and every team, a lot.”

Wisconsin went on a commanding 11-1 run to start off the first set and flew by the Hawkeyes to win 25-9. The Badgers recorded a .405 attack percentage and racked up 23 digs in the first set alone while Iowa hit negative .026 on the set (6-7-38).

The Badgers went on a 5-0 run to start the second set, but the Hawkeyes were able to cut the lead to two at 10-8. Wisconsin then took control and finished off Iowa 25-14 with the help of three team blocks and a .382 attack percentage (17-4-34).

Iowa appeared a bit more animated in the third set and held on through 10 ties and three lead changes. Wisconsin went on a 9-3 run, breaking an 11-11 tie, to pull ahead and eventually converted on its fourth match point to win 25-20.

The Hawkeyes were led by senior Nikki Dailey. The Franklin, Wis., native led the Hawkeyes in both assists (18) and digs (9). Junior Alex Lovell headed Iowa’s offense with eight kills.

The Badgers are back in action on Friday, Nov. 15 as they take on No. 2 Penn State in their final weekend home stand of the regular season. Game time against the Nittany Lions is 7 p.m. in the UW Field House.  

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