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Volleyball ends season with 3-1 loss at No. 22 Purdue

Nov. 23, 2012

22 PUrdue 3, Wisconsin 1
Holloway Gym • West Lafayette, Ind.
Game Photo

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
14 26 14 22 --
25 24 25 25 --
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• Attendance: 2,691
 Stats Leaders
Wisconsin Purdue
Mikaelsen - 16 Kills Turner - 24
Thomas - 37 Assists Davis - 53
Mitchell - .360 Hit %
Nichol - .391
Hickey - 21 Digs Cramer - 19
Ording - 6 Blocks Drewry/Turner - 3
Hickey - 3  Aces Cramer - 3
 Stats Comparison
 Kills 43 65
 Hitting Pct. .162 .304
 Assists 41 64
 Service Aces 7 7
 Digs 54 77
 Total Blocks 9 6
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Wisconsin volleyball team couldn't stop the potent offense of No. 22 Purdue, falling in its final match of the season 25-14, 24-26, 25-14, 25-22 on Friday night. The Badgers end their season 17-16, their most wins since 2008, and 5-16 in the Big Ten Conference standings.

"Overall, some good things were done," said head coach Pete Waite on the season. "Even when our backs were against the wall with some injuries, (the players) were battling until the very end and never gave up. That says something for them and their characters."

 Fast Facts
• Badgers end season with most wins since 2008
• Seniors Alexis Mitchell, Mary Ording and Bailey Reshel play in final match
Annemarie Hickey tallies 21 digs

The Badgers had their backs against the wall early as Purdue broke open the first set, breaking an 8-8 tie by scoring three straight to take an 11-8 lead. Wisconsin stayed within two points through 13-11 but the Boilers scored four straight to take a 17-11 lead. Purdue would outscore the Badgers 8-4 to take a one-set lead.

In set two, Wisconsin led 22-16 before the Boilermakers scored seven straight to take a 23-22 lead. A kill from Ellen Chapman ended the rally but Purdue would serve for set point at 24-23. Kills from Alexis Mitchell and Chapman gave the Badgers set point at 25-24 before a Purdue hitting error tied the match at one set apiece.

"What was great (about the second set) was that we finished it off, we didn't lay down and die," said Waite. "We came back and got that set."

The third set was a near repeat of the first set, including the final score. The Boilers broke the third set open earlier than the first set, breaking a 4-4 tie with four straight points. Wisconsin would get no closer as Purdue slowly extended its lead to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Boilermakers led 21-17 in the fourth set before Wisconsin came back to score five of the next six points to tie the score at 22. Hitting errors proved costly to the Badgers as they gave Purdue two of its final three points and the match.

Julie Mikaelsen led the Badgers with 16 kills while senior Alexis Mitchell added 13 kills. Wisconsin tallied just 43 kills and hit .162 as a team while Purdue put away 65 kills and hit .304. Ariel Turner led all hitters with 24 kills as Purdue had three players with 10-or-more kills.

Wisconsin outblocked Purdue 9-6 led by six stuffs from senior Mary Ording.

Purdue outdug the Badgers 77-54 with the Badgers' Annemarie Hickey leading all players with 21 saves. Sophomore Courtney Thomas added 12 digs and recorded her 14th double-double of the season, adding 37 assists.

"Numbers are one thing and (Annemarie) put up 21 digs, which is great," said Waite, "but some of her plays were phenomenal and she just stopped their best hitters. She was playing out of her zone in making plays."

After struggling from the service line the last four matches, Wisconsin scored on seven aces, including three from Hickey.

Three seniors played in their final match as Badgers - Mitchell, Ording and Bailey Reshel.

"Every one of those seniors is playing with injuries the last three or four weeks," said Waite. "And they still did everything they could to come out on game day and give it everything they have. For me, seeing them come so far from their freshman year as people, as players, it was a joy to watch them play. I just wish we could have given them this win."

The Badgers return five starters and 12 letterwinners for 2013, looking to make the NCAA tournament next season.

"We made some strides in certain ways but it was a matter of not hitting on all cylinders on certain days when we need to," said Waite on the season. "We need to be stronger on the left side. In the college game, you have to have (left-side hitter) scoring because you're not always going to be able to get the ball to your middles or right-side.

"And there were a lot of injuries. There were literally times we had no subs as far as attackers. But every day in practice, they were going hard. We went through the whole season with two middles which is pretty phenomenal. Alexis and Mary did a great job."

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