Husked: Badgers fall in three sets to Nebraska


Nov. 18, 2012

9 Nebraska 3, Wisconsin 0
UW Field House • Madison, Wis.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
 Nebraska
25 25 25 -- --
 Wisconsin
17 20 18 -- --
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• Attendance: 4,999
 Stats Leaders
NEBRASKA WISCONSIN
Werth - 15 Kills Mitchell - 8
Cook - 44 Assists Thomas - 27
Thramer - .545 Hit %
Ording - .250
Three With 10 Digs Annemarie - 20
Thramer - 3 Blocks Ording - 5

Mancuso /     Werth - 1

 Aces Mikaelsen /         Hickey - 1
 Stats Comparison
NEB WIS
 Kills 52 35
 Hitting Pct. .351 .145
 Assists 47 33
 Service Aces 2 2
 Digs 49 46
 Total Blocks 5 9
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MADISON, Wis. -- At times, Wisconsin played like the better team Sunday afternoon against ninth-ranked Nebraska. But in the end, the Huskers played the most consistent volleyball and outlasted every Wisconsin run, as the Badgers fell 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 in front of a season-high crowd of 4,999 at the UW Field House.

Wisconsin (17-13, 5-12) found itself in an early 7-2 hole to begin the first set before staging a comeback to pull within one point. Down 14-9, the Badgers put together a 5-1 run to close the gap to 15-14. But Wisconsin never could tie the set as Nebraska (20-6, 12-5) opened its lead back up, eventually taking nine of the final 11 points for a 25-17 win. The Badgers committed seven attacking errors in the set.

 Fast Facts
• Wisconsin leads in every set, but Nebraska outlasts the Badgers for 3-0 sweep.
• The Badgers see their biggest home crowd of the season: 4,999.
• Wisconsin's seniors continued to turn in big numbers, combining for 21 kills and 10 blocks.

Whatever positive rhythm the Badgers discovered in the middle of the first set, they rediscovered to begin the second set. Wisconsin opened on a 4-0 run, eventually stretching the lead to 13-6. But from there, Nebraska stole the rhythm back, unleashing a 9-0 run to take a 15-13 advantage.

"After they probably gained a couple of points, we started getting a little more cautious," Head coach Pete Waite said. "At that point you've got to stay aggressive and bang it off the block and hit shots and we didn't."

A 4-0 run helped the Huskers extend their lead and Nebraska took the final three points of the set to seal a 25-20 victory.

"I think that was an important set for us, we were up 13-6 and we didn't continue to push and keep that point spread," Waite said. "That's the biggest thing. Nebraska was able to work their way back into the set and the match. That would have been a big momentum swing for us to get that (and) going into the locker room being 1-1."

Wisconsin hit an identical .171 in the first and second sets (23 kills - 7 errors - 35 attempts).

"I think as hitters we have to stay aggressive but just be smart so knowing where to hit the ball when we're one on one, just putting the ball away, hitting a smart shot and still staying aggressive," senior Alexis Mitchell said of the Badgers' errors. "I don't think we need to back up on the aggressiveness at all, it's just being smart and knowing where to place the ball."

Neither team seemed to take hold of the momentum in the early going of the third set. A close competition the whole way, the Badgers held a slim lead for most the set until Nebraska grabbed a 14-13 advantage. Wisconsin took the lead back at 16-15, but would not lead again. A 6-0 run gave the Huskers a 21-17 advantage and an eventual 10-2 run sealed the match for Nebraska with a 25-18 win.

"When the long rallies were going I think Nebraska was winning those and that's the key point," Waite said. "You can't just expect the play to be over in one attempt on your own side. You've got to keep going and going and grind it out and I think they did that, they made a few pretty special plays."

Wisconsin outblocked the Cornhuskers in the match, 9-5, but could not overcome Nebraska's .351 hitting effort. The Badgers hit just .145 for the match, including 19 attacking errors.

Mitchell led Wisconsin with eight kills while adding four blocks. Senior Bailey Reshel contributed seven kills and added nine digs.

Junior Annemarie Hickey led Wisconsin with 20 digs while sophomore Courtney Thomas turned in a team-high 27 assists. Senior Mary Ording led the Badgers with five blocks.

Wisconsin finishes out its home season Wednesday when rival Minnesota travels to Madison. Match time is 7 p.m. in the Field House.

"Just go after it, the season is fast," Reshel said of Wisconsin's upcoming short week. "It was a tough game but we've still got a chance at the tournament and the biggest thing is to move forward."

ON WISCONSIN
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