Volleyball enjoys weekend sweep

Badgers knock off No. 5 Gophers and Iowa

Despite getting off to a slow start, the No. 10 Wisconsin volleyball team upset No. 5 Minnesota (10-2 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) Friday night in Madison. The Badgers also beat Iowa Sunday, making head coach Pete Waite the school's winningest coach with 162 wins.

Senior middle blocker Sheila Shaw had a career night against Minnesota, with 16 kills, a personal-best 13 blocks and eight digs.

Wisconsin (10-1, 2-0) dropped its first game to Minnesota 30-19 but kept itself in contention by winning the second game 30-27. The Gophers won the third game 30-27 but the Badgers overran the Gophers to win the fourth game 30-24.

In the fifth game, Wisconsin took an early 11-5 lead while holding the Gophers to a .000 hitting percentage. Although Minnesota fought back, senior outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto recorded a final kill that won the game 15-12. Meierotto finished with 12 kills and seven digs.

"I think we came out pretty nervous," Shaw said. "We knew what we were up against. The main thing is that we came back and we fought hard. We're a very determined team; we know what we want and we know what we're going for this year, which is a Big Ten championship."

The Badgers out-blocked the Gophers 20-12 and held them to a .155 hitting percentage, well below their season average of .281. Sophomore setter Jackie Simpson and sophomore middle blocker Taylor Reineke each had six blocks, while redshirt freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Audra Jeffers recorded five.

Minnesota bested the Badgers in kills, with a 78-65 advantage but UW out-dug the Gophers 82-79. It helped that four Badgers recorded double-figure digs: sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack (19), junior middle blocker Maria Carlini (17), junior defensive specialist Amanda Berkley (10) and sophomore defensive specialist Megan Mills (10).

"We talk about what a great defensive team Minnesota is and we want to excel like that," Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite said. "We showed it there in blocking; we out-blocked them 20-12 which is huge."

Junior setter Katie Lorenzen recorded 25 assists, six digs, a career-high six kills and three blocks in four games.

Sunday, the Badgers sent the Hawkeyes packing with a 30-28, 30-17, 30-21 loss. Carlini led the team with a match-high 16 kills and four digs, while Meierotto had 13 kills and six digs, and Jeffers recorded 11.

Defensively, Wack had 19 digs to extend her double-figure digs streak to 42 matches. Mills added 10, while the Badgers out-dug the Hawkeyes 60-44.

Waite now has a 162-47 record at Wisconsin. He also holds the school record for most wins at Northern Illinois, where he garnered a 266-102 career mark.

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