Texas A&M sends Badgers back to Wisconsin
Texas A&M trounced the Wisconsin volleyball team, ending its NCAA run and its season. The Badgers finished the season at 22-11 overall and bid adieu to seniors Lisa Zukowski, Angie Sanger, Morgan Shields and Jill Maier. The Aggies swept the Badgers 30-22, 30-24 and 30-18 in College Station, Texas Saturday.
"Of course I'm disappointed that the season's ending today, but we played a very good team and credit goes to Texas A & M for having an excellent match tonight," Wisconsin coach Pete Waite said.
The Badgers struggled in all three games, hitting an average .178 percent and tying a season-low with 39 kills. Junior outside hitter Jill Odenthal had a match-leading 12 kills and sophomore middle blocker Sheila Shaw contributed 10. Texas A&M, on the other hand, had 53 kills and hit .319 percent, including 11 kills apiece from Beth Skypala and Melissa Munsch. On defense, the Badgers tied the Aggies with 62 digs apiece; Maier, a defensive specialist, had 20 digs while setter Morgan Shields and outside hitter Lisa Zukowski had 10 apiece. Shields also had 35 assists while sophomore outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto and freshman middle blocker Amy Bladow had two blocks each.
In the first game, the Badgers and Aggies duked it out in a defensive war and tied the game at 15 before A&M pulled ahead with a 4-1 run from which Wisconsin never quite recovered. Wisconsin fought back to a 25-22 deficit but the Aggies held them and finished out the game.
Texas A&M's offense destroyed Wisconsin's defense in the second game, with the Aggies hitting .341 percent. Although the Badgers again tied the game at 15, after Odenthal had three straight service aces, the team again let the tie slip and A&M took the second game.
"We were always playing catch-up ball," Waite said. "Sometimes we were struggling with our serve-receive and that makes it tough to run our offense as well. They were a good team, and were playing well in front of an excited home crowd."
A 3-0 A&M lead put Wisconsin out of the game for good, as the Badgers never caught up. Substitutions did not help the team and the Badgers suffered for the third time, falling to the host team 30-18.
Badger wrestlers annoy Tigers
The No. 16 men's wrestling team (5-1 in dual meets) continued its long road trip with a 32-9 victory over Princeton (1-1) Saturday.
Princeton's two top wrestlers, Brian Kirchbaum (133 pounds) and Joe Looke (heavyweight), were ill, hurting Princeton's chances from the start. Wisconsin jumped to an early lead with a win from junior heavyweight Joe Chose. The wins kept rolling in for the Badgers, who also got wins from sophomores Tom Clum (125) and Ed Gutnik (133), as well as freshman Cole Wunnicke (149), freshman Tyler Turner (157), senior Adam Turner (174), sophomore Ryan Flaherty (184) and sophomore Lee Kraemer (197). Princeton earned points in the 141-pound category after Milo Adams defeated UW sophomore Tony Turner and in the 165-pound category, where Wisconsin forfeited.
Wisconsin's match against No. 13 Hofstra was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Swimming succeeds at Texas Invite
The men's and women's swimming and diving teams competed at the Texas Invitational and came home with a number of NCAA qualifying times throughout the three-day meet.
Junior Carly Piper continued to stand out throughout the weekend, earning "A" cuts in the 500-yard freestyle Thursday night with a time of 4:43.72, in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.04) Friday, and the 1,650-yard freestyle (16:12.48) Saturday.
Senior Bethany Pendleton also automatically qualified for events in the NCAA Tournament with "A" cut times throughout the meet. Thursday, she swam the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.05, good for an "A" cut. Friday brought more success for Pendleton, who had another "A" cut time, this time in the 400-yard individual medley (4:13.65).
The 400-yard medley relay team of senior Molly Buhrandt, sophomore Amalia Sarnecki, freshman Susan Johnson and Piper beat a school record with a time of 3:41.50, beating the old time of 3:42.58 set five years ago.
On Friday, Sarnecki broke a school record she previously set, in the 100-yard breaststroke, with a provisional qualifying time of 1:02.44. She earned an "A" cut in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing in 2:13.55. Johnson also broke a record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.10, which earned her an automatic trip to the NCAA Tournament.
For the men, junior Adam Mania built a list of "A" cuts and new records, breaking the school record in the 200-yard individual medley Thursday and smashing the 100-yard backstroke record with a time of 47.07 that automatically qualified him for the NCAAs.
For a complete list of events and times, please click here for the UWBadgers.com recap