Badger Sports Roundup, March 20

Women's swimming's best NCAA finish ever; results from volleyball, men's tennis and women's crew

Badger swimming earns highest finish in history

With a 10th place finish, the women's swimming team met its goal of placing in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships, had the highest finish in school history and also earned the most points in the program's history with 135. Auburn took first with 569 points.

Saturday at the NCAA Championships, held in College Station, Texas, junior Carly Piper opened with an 11th place finish in the 1,500-meter freestyle in 16:10.55, while the top five swimmers in her heat all broke the NCAA record of 16:03.59. USC's Kalyn Keller set a new record of 15:49.14.
Freshman Susan Johnson earned an all-America honorable mention accolade for finishing 16th in the 200 backstroke in 2:12.15. Senior Bethany Pendleton had another solid day, finishing 12th in the 100 free with a time of 55.46, and sophomore Amalia Sarnecki won the consolation race in the 200 breaststroke, finishing ninth overall.

The Badgers ended their championship run by finishing seventh in the 400 relay, thanks to the team of sophomore Sarah Hernandez, Piper, sophomore Anna Trinidad and Pendleton.

Volleyball dominates at spring tourney
The volleyball team bounced back after posting a 0-3-1 record at the Badger Invitational to defeat all four of its opponents at the Central Florida Spring Tournament in Orlando, Fla., Saturday.

"We had a good week of practice that translated into a better performance today," said head coach Pete Waite. "The entire team played with much more intensity than we had at our tournament (Badger Invitational) last week. It was a nice improvement."

Wisconsin crushed the University of Central Florida, Tampa and Florida A&M, defeating all of those teams in two games apiece in the best-of-three matchup. Only Kansas State gave the Badgers problems, as they lost the first game 30-20 but came back to win the next two 30-28 and 30-21.

Junior outside hitter Jill Odenthal had a team high in kills with 38 while freshman middle blocker Amy Bladow and sophomore middle blocker Sheila Shaw had 11 blocks each. Sophomore outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto had 56 digs.

Wisconsin will next head to the Chicago Spring Challenge March 27, where it could face teams such as Marquette, Michigan State and Notre Dame.

Badgers ground Eagles
The men's tennis team recovered from two straight losses with a 6-1 win over Georgia Southern (6-14 overall) Saturday in Miami, Fla.

After sweeping the doubles point, Wisconsin (5-6) had wins from five of its six singles players, with only senior David Hippee losing his match. Sophomore Alex Conti took opponent Danie Van Den Heever to the tiebreaker, eventually defeating him 4-6, 6-3 and 10-5.

Wisconsin will open its Big Ten season against Indiana on the road March 27.

Crew dominates at FIT invite
The women's crew team opened its season by winning nine out of 10 races at the Florida Institute of Technology Invitational in Fellsmere, Fla., Saturday.

Despite facing winds of at least 20 miles per hour, Wisconsin had a nearly perfect day, competing against Florida Institute of Technology, Central Florida and Columbia. The Badger openweight squad won the varsity eight, the second varsity eight, the novice eight, the second novice eight, the second varsity eight-second flight, the varsity four and the novice four-second flight.

The lightweights won all but one competition, taking the varsity lightweight eight and varsity four B. The team finished second behind the openweights in the second novice eight and second in the novice four with coxswain behind Florida Tech.

The crew team, taking advantage of spring break for its winter training, will race in the San Diego Crew Classic April 3 and 4.

"We had a strong week of a winter training," said interim director of women's crew Sue Ela. "The Badger women look strong across the board and we look forward to racing again in two weeks in San Diego."

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