Volleyball maintains winning ways

Wisconsin's volleyball team remains in a first-place tie with a match victory over Ohio State

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The 23th-ranked Badger volleyball team took home its second match win of the weekend Saturday night at the UW Field House, defeating Ohio State 30-15, 26-30, 30-20, 30-22. After defeating Penn State Friday night, Wisconsin (16-5, 8-2) remains in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten Conference with Minnesota and Illinois.

"I'm rather pleased with this win, after such an emotional match last night," Head Coach Pete Waite said. "It would be very easy to let up and I think in the second game we did go very flat. So we really challenged the kids at the second-game break to really come out and dig down and play at a higher level."

Wisconsin's offense landed 68 kills and hit for .331 percent, the fifth-highest hitting percentage for a four-game match in UW volleyball history. The Buckeyes (8-10, 2-8) were held to 47 kills and a .233 hitting percentage.

Leading the Badgers, junior Jill Odenthal recorded 19 kills with a .378 hitting percentage. Senior Lisa Zukowski, who tied her career-best with four blocks, added 15 kills, while sophomore Sheila Shaw and junior Marian Weidner contributed 13 and 11 kills, respectively.

Senior Morgan Sheilds ran the UW offense, putting up 56 set assists.

"I'm really happy with the way, in the last three to four of weeks, people are stepping in and helping out," Coach Waite said of the team's offensive depth. "Tonight it was Marian Weidner coming in and really having a great offensive match, at 11 kills and two errors and was able to spare Aubrey a little bit. Aubrey was a little exhausted from last night's match and was having a little bit of trouble getting started tonight."

The Buckeyes were led by junior Stacey Gordon, who recorded team-highs of 19 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Amanda Miller also added eight kills, while senior Heather Whalen contributed eight digs.

Defensively Ohio State out-blocked the Badgers 11-7, but Wisconsin popped up 58 digs, compared to OSU's 43 digs. Senior Jill Maier registered a match-leading 18 digs, while Zukowski added 10 digs.

For the seventh time this season, Wisconsin recorded double-digit service aces. Landing a season-high 13 service aces, UW out-served the Buckeyes, holding them to three aces. Odenthal and Shaw recorded three aces a piece, and Zukowski and Shields each added two aces.

The Badgers hit the road next weekend, facing 25th-ranked Minnesota on Friday and Iowa on Saturday. Both games are at 7 p.m.

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