Badgers survive scare from Hoosiers

Wisconsin volleyball moves into fifth place in Big Ten

The Wisconsin volleyball team got more than it bargained for from the Indiana Hoosiers Friday evening.

Winless in Big Ten play entering the match, Indiana pushed Wisconsin to the limit before the Badgers prevailed in five games, 31-33, 30-23, 30-16, 22-30, 15-9.

"We didn't play our best, but we got the match," Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite said. "That's good because we know we can play much better."

UW was led by the middle blocker tandem of junior Sheila Shaw and freshman Taylor Reineke. Shaw set a new season high with 22 kills, while Reineke's 12 total blocks were a career best.

"I think we really focused on staying balanced in the middle and just waiting and reacting," Shaw said. "Our outsides did a really good job of setting the block up for us."

The Badgers trailed 26-24 in game one, but fought back to tie the score at 29-29. An attack error by IU's Christina Archibald allowed UW to serve game point, but Wisconsin was unable to capitalize and a kill by Indiana's Christine Nilles tied the game.

Eventually, the Hoosiers took the game 33-31 after consecutive kills from Tasha Arsenych and Mandy Eberle.

"I wish we would have just finished that right then," Waite said. "I think it would have been a whole different match. But, that's what we have to learn as a team is how to finish it out and not get behind in the first place."

The second game was tied at 11-11 before UW went on a 12-3 run to open a commanding lead. Wisconsin went on to win 30-23 behind Maria Carlini's four kills and .427 hitting percentage.

Game three was dominated by the Badgers, who out-hit the Hoosiers .467 to -.192 as a team. Reineke and Shaw each recorded five kills and UW rolled, 30-16.

Facing elimination, Indiana responded with a 30-22 win in game four. IU recorded six blocks and held Wisconsin to a .022 hitting percentage, forcing a fifth game. Undeterred, the Badgers quickly took control of the decisive game. UW grabbed an early 4-0 lead and never looked back. Aubrey Meierotto hammered three kills in just three attempts and Reineke put away match point, allowing the Badgers to escape with a 3-2 win.

"I'm happy we came out with a win," Waite said. "We played well in the fifth—it wasn't really close there. We were just a little inconsistent during the match."

Sophomore Katie Lorenzen earned the starting nod at setter, but was replaced by freshman Jackie Simpson in game two. Lorenzen also saw time at the end of game four. She finished with 22 assists, while Simpson tallied 41.

"Both setters had trouble locating the ball tonight, so they both got some court time and helped out when we needed help," Waite said.

The match was the tenth consecutive loss for Indiana (6-12 overall, 0-7 Big Ten), which remains winless in conference play. The Hoosiers were led by their two seniors, Archibald and Katie Pollom, who each tallied 14 kills.

By virtue of the win and Purdue's loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin (10-5, 4-3) moves into a tie with Michigan for fifth place in the Big Ten. The Badgers and Boilermakers square off at the Field House at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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