June 21, 2021

Badgers can’t find answer for No. 11 Nebraska offense

first_imgAfter dominating in the first game of the match, the No. 16 Wisconsin volleyball team couldn’t put any distance between itself and the No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers in a hard-nosed four set loss (25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 19-25) Friday night.The Badgers (18-7, 7-6 Big Ten) mounted a three-point lead in game two at 11-8, but committed two service errors and four attack errors in the last ten points of the game after leading 18-17.Nebraska’s two top offensive attackers proved too much for the Wisconsin defense later in the game — senior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson posted 21 kills and freshman outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen accumulated 19 kills — the two combined for a .390 attack percentage.Head coach Kelly Sheffield said Robinson, who places second in the Big Ten with 4.51 kills per set, will likely be volleyball’s National Player of the Year, and is the type of player that forces an opposing team to play a perfect match in order to win.“It’s two teams that are very, very equal and one player that offensively on the pin that you can set any and every time that you want that is better than everybody else in the country,” Sheffield said. “Our opponent has that player — nobody else does, and that was the difference in the match.”In game three, Wisconsin owned a .353 attack clip with 15 kills and just three errors. After a slow 0-3 start in the game, the Badgers were never down more than two points in the game, but the Cornhuskers sealed a 2-1 game lead and ultimate victory with three kills in the last five points by Rolfzen.Senior libero Annemarie Hickey said Wisconsin committed too many errors once Nebraska had reached 20 points in a game. She said Wisconsin was out-served by Nebraska, with serving and receiving normally a strength for UW.Freshman setter Lauren Carlini, who tallied 52 assists and 15 digs on the night, said Nebraska won the serve-pass game later in the match while Wisconsin couldn’t always find a way to put points away.“We obviously were in control in the first game, and we started off with a big lead,” Carlini said. “But then the next two games, we just couldn’t get in a good rhythm and good momentum.”Even in a loss, Sheffield said he was proud of how his team battled throughout the entirety of the match.“I thought our team played really hard,” Sheffield said. “There were some [good] rallies, and we were throwing our bodies all over the place — putting it all out there on the court.”last_img

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