Badger Sports Roundup

Volleyball sweeps Illini; football up to No. 14; women's soccer loses another heartbreaker

Volleyball: Badgers sweep Illini

The No. 8 Wisconsin volleyball team maintained its undefeated conference run by sweeping Illinois 30-15, 30-22 and 30-21 Saturday night.

Wisconsin (12-1 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) had a season-high 11 service aces in the win at Illinois, the Badgers' first since 2001. That included three service aces each from sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack, junior middle blocker Maria Carlini and senior middle blocker Sheila Shaw.

Against Illinois (10-5, 1-3), Carlini and Shaw recorded 11 kills each, as the Badgers had 44 kills as a team, to the Illini's 32. As a team, the Badgers hit .283 to Illinois' .027 and Shaw led the team with a .500 attack percentage, recording two errors on 18 attempts.

Wack recorded 18 digs, extending her streak of consecutive matches with double-digit digs to 44. Shaw recorded six blocks, including two solo blocks.

Senior middle blocker/outside hitter Rachel VanMeter led the Illini with10 kills, while Illini junior defensive specialist Beth Vrdsky had a match-high 19 digs.

"I was really pleased with the way our team played today, coming off a tough five-game match against Purdue," UW head coach Pete Waite said. "We came into Illinois to a spot where we lost in three games last year and we really took care of business."

Football: Badgers up to No. 14

After defeating Indiana 41-24 Saturday, the Wisconsin football team (5-0 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) moved up three spots, from No. 17 to No. 14, in both the USA Today coaches' poll and the Associated Press poll, both of which were released Sunday.

Ohio State, at No. 6 in both polls, is the highest ranked Big Ten team ranked. Penn State is at No. 16 (AP poll) and No. 18, while Michigan State slipped to No. 19. Michigan, which was knocked out of the polls last week, is at No. 21 (AP poll) and No. 24. Southern California tops both polls.

Women's soccer: No. 2 Penn State silences Badgers

For the seventh time this season and the second time this weekend, the Wisconsin women's soccer team took an opponent to overtime before suffering a heartbreaking loss. Sunday, the Badgers fell to No. 2 Penn State (12-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) 2-1 in Madison.

Freshman midfielder/forward Elise Weber scored Wisconsin's lone goal at 79:36 in the second half, sending the game into overtime.

Almost three minutes into overtime, Nittany Lion freshman forward/midfielder Sheree Gray scored the game winner off a corner kick taken by teammate junior midfielder/defender Sarah Dwyer.

Penn State scored its first goal on a first-period penalty kick from senior forward Tiffany Weimer, the 2004 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. But Weimer, who was averaging almost five shots per game, had just one, her goal, against the Badgers (5-5-2, 0-3-1 Big Ten). Weimer extended her streak of consecutive games with at least one goal to 12 games.

"Our game plan was specifically for (senior midfielder) Marisa Brown to take care of Tiff Weimer," UW head coach Dean Duerst said. "Obviously she is a very special player and Marisa did a fantastic job."

Wisconsin junior netminder Stefani Szczechowski finished with six saves, while Nittany Lion senior Erin McLeod finished with two. Penn State out-shot Wisconsin 15-6.

"In all my years of soccer I have never seen this many tough losses in overtime games in one season," Duerst said. "This game is really going to help us the way we fought and stuck to the game plan. We adjusted very well to how this game was played."

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