Volleyball ends skid
The Wisconsin volleyball team put emphatic close on a moribund streak Friday, sweeping Ohio State on the road to end a three-match losing streak. The Badgers improve to 19-9 overall and 11-6 in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State falls to 10-16, 4-14.
"It feels great," coach Pete Waite said. "It was just a great effort by our team to raise their energy level and get on the road and play a really good match against one of the best hitters in the country, and to keep her as low as we did is a testament to how hard they're working on defense and the blocking teams we're doing. It's a great team win."
Wisconsin had three players in double-figure kills led by Sheila Shaw with 14. Jill Odenthal added 13 kills and hit an impressive .632 hitting percentage. Aubrey Meierotto added 11 kills as the Badgers outhit the Buckeyes 53-47. Wisconsin also hit .342 percent as a team compared to .281 percent for Ohio State.
The Badgers held the 2002 Big Ten Player of the Year Stacey Gordon to just 11 kills, well below her season average of 6.59 per game. Heather Whalen led the Buckeyes with 13 kills while Amanda Miller added 12 kills.
Wisconsin had a strong serving game recording seven aces, including three from Meierotto. The Badgers were only aced four times.
Both team had five blocks but Wisconsin finished with a 57-45 advantage in digs. Jill Maier led all players with 17 digs while Lisa Zukowski added 10 digs.
Morgan Shields ran the UW offense putting up 45 assists.
The Badgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game 1 and never looked back. Wisconsin used four service aces, two each from Shaw and Meierotto, to up its lead to eight (18-10). The Buckeyes cut it to four (27-23) off two Badger errors but two kills from Meierotto put the game away.
Ohio State took a 9-6 lead in the second game before Wisconsin rallied to tie the game at nine off a Buckeye hitting error. OSU broke a 12-12 tie with three straight points and upped its lead to five (20-15). Behind the front-row play of Shields, Bladow and Meierotto, the Badgers tied the game at 22. Wisconsin broke a 24-24 tie on a kill from Odenthal and would go on to take a 2-0 match lead into the locker room.
Shaw had eight kills in the third game to lead the Badgers to the sweep. Wisconsin led 23-18 but Ohio State came back to tie the game at 26. A Buckeye service ace gave the Badgers the lead for good before a Shaw kill followed by a block by Shaw and Shields put the match away.
The Badgers wrap up their Big Ten road season at Penn State on Saturday night.
Women's hockey cruises
The sixth-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team fired in three goals in the third period to cap a 4-0 win against visiting St. Cloud State at the Eagle's Nest Ice Arena in Verona, Wis., Friday night.
Madison native Nikki Burish knocked in two goals to lead the Badgers in scoring, while teammate Amy Vermeulen chipped in two assists for the win.
Wisconsin sophomore goaltender Meghan Horras preserved the victory with 11 saves for her first career shutout, while St. Cloud State's Ellen Brinkman collected 44 saves against the Badger offense.
"The game was very good overall," Wisconsin coach Mark Johnson said. "I told the team that that was as good of a 60 minutes as we played last weekend on Friday up in Mankato, so I was really pleased with the effort. I was pleased with the pace that we were able to play for the whole game. Overall, it was a good solid game. We still at times struggled to score goals, but we were able to get those four tonight."
Burish opened the Badger scoring with her first goal at 16:33 in the first period with an assist from Vermeulen and senior assistant captain Steph Millar, but Wisconsin wouldn't get on the board again until the third period despite outshooting St. Cloud State 48-11 throughout the game.
The Huskies held the Badgers scoreless in the second period by killing off three UW power plays, while Brinkman stopped 20 UW shots on goal in the second period. The Badgers broke the game wide open in an 11 minute-span in the final period, however.
Burish beat Brinkman for the second time at 8:33 in the third period with an unassisted goal. Just 21 seconds later, assistant captain Meghan Hunter made it a three-goal lead, courtesy of an assist from Vermeulen.
Wisconsin team captain Carla MacLeod tapped in her first goal of the season to seal the 4-0 victory against St. Cloud State with less than a minute on the clock.
Women's hockey adds recruit
Wisconsin women's hockey head coach Mark Johnson announced Friday that Jinelle Zaugg of Eagle River, Wis., has signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Wisconsin and will join the Badgers' 2004-05 roster.
A 6-0 forward on the Northland Pines boy's hockey team, Zaugg previously played for the Wisconsin Wild and is currently skating with the Madison Capitols Girls U-19 Team in her free time.
"We're all excited that Jinelle will be a part of our program," Johnson said. "She's a girl from Wisconsin, a girl with a lot of potential and I'm happy that she will have the opportunity to develop her game and excel in hockey as a member of our team.
"I'm looking forward to how she will progress throughout the rest of this season at Northland Pines and how she will adapt to the Division I level. She's tall with good speed and the ability to score goals. I believe she will be able to make a contribution to our team right away."