Badgers Falter Late In Loss To IndianaOctober 20, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin volleyball head coach Pete Waite has said it all season – any team in the Big Ten Conference can beat any other team on any night. Unfortunately for the Badgers (15-8, 3-7), they were on the wrong end of that prophecy Friday night, falling to last place Indiana 19-25, 25-17, 30-28, 25-21 in the UW Field House
“We knew Indiana was a good team even though their record didn’t show it,” Waite said. “They are maybe one of the hottest teams in the conference now after beating Purdue and coming up here.”
It doesn’t get a whole lot closer in the game of volleyball than what IU and UW experienced in the early going of set three with the match tied 1-1. The set featured 17 ties, four of which came after 24-24. Indiana (10-12, 2-8) led 24-20 but Wisconsin would not give up, scoring four straight to tie the set at 24. The Hoosiers served for their fifth set point at 25-24 but the Badgers again battled back to take a 26-25 lead. UW had three set points of its own before IU scored three straight to win the period 30-28.
“We came from behind and battled and had a shot at set point in that and if you win that one,” Waite said. “It is a big difference going into the fourth, but we just weren’t quite able to close that one out.”
The loss may have taken the wind out of Wisconsin’s sails as the Hoosiers broke open the fourth set with a 4-0 run to take a 14-9 lead. The Badgers again battled back to draw within one (16-15), but a 5-1 run put Indiana back in the driver’s seat at 21-16. The Badgers won five of the next seven points to pull within two (23-21), but IU took the final two points to seal the set and the match.
Sophomore Ellen Chapman grabbed a career-high 24 kills with senior Alexis Mitchell adding 12 and junior Julie Mikaelsen chipping in 11 putaways.
As a team, the Badgers hit .225 on the night (60 kills -22 errors - 169 attempts), boosted in large part by a .386 performance (21-4-45) in the third set. Wisconsin also hit .429 in the first set but managed just .128 in the second and .069 in the fourth period.
Indiana hit .208 (56-21-168) with three players in double-digit kills, led by 18 from Jordan Haverly.
Wisconsin had four players in double-digit digs as it outdug Indiana 81-75. Junior Annemarie Hickey led UW with 19 digs while sophomore Deme Morales saved a career-best 18. Mikaelsen (15) and sophomore Courtney Thomas (10) both recorded double-doubles on the night. It was Mikaelsen’s first career double-double behind her career high in digs. Thomas added 51 assists, running the Badger offense, to her dig total.
“Looking at the stats, we beat them in almost every category,” Waite said. “But I think it was a case where they did a good job moving the ball around on the serve, short (and) deep, and were really hitting their lines on a lot of their shots.”
The Badgers were outblocked for the third time in the last four matches as the Hoosiers finished with an 8-7 advantage. Thomas and Mary Ording led UW with three blocks apiece.
Wisconsin also struggled on serve receive, getting aced 11 times – its second-straight match giving up 10-or-more aces.
After trailing 11-6 in the first set, the Badgers went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-11 lead. Wisconsin broke a 14-14 tie, scoring three straight to take an advantage it wouldn’t give up. UW took five of the last seven points to take the first set.
The Hoosiers broke open the second set early, outscoring the Badgers 8-2 to take a 13-6 lead. The Badgers cut the lead to three (13-10) but that would be as close as they would get as Indiana evened the match.
Wisconsin has the rest of the weekend off before opening the second half of Big Ten play at home. The Badgers take on No. 25 Illinois on Oct. 26 in the UW Field House at 7 p.m.