Volleyball: Badgers defeat Northwestern

Wisconsin claims second place in Big Ten with win

The No. 14 Wisconsin volleyball team swept Northwestern 30-22, 30-28 and 30-15 Wednesday in Evanston, Ill., guaranteeing a second-place finish in the conference with one game to go.

Wisconsin will head into its match at Indiana Saturday with a 22-6 overall record and 14-5 conference record.

Sophomore middle blocker Taylor Reineke had a team-high 11 kills on 13 attempts, setting the second-best hitting percentage ever in a three-game match with an .846 attack percentage. She also recorded a team-high eight blocks. Senior outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto and junior middle blocker Maria Carlini added nine kills each as the Badgers finished with 47 kills total.

Sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack was also instrumental in ending Northwestern's (18-11, 9-10) six-match winning streak. She recorded a match-high 15 digs and, with her streak of 59 matches with double-digit digs, now holds sole possession of second place on the NCAA record list. Carlini added 10 digs as Wisconsin out-dug Northwestern 39-24.

Pete Waite said. "We were able to come into Northwestern and beat a team that has been very hot in the second half of the Big Ten season and were able to get out of here with a win in three (games)."

Wisconsin and Northwestern played a close second game, with the Badgers down 27-24 late. But the Badgers went on a 4-1 run that tied the game at 28-28 and two kills from Reineke gave them the win.

"The play wasn't really close in the first and the third (games)," Waite said. "In the second game, we made some mistakes then Northwestern woke up and we had to fight behind to win 30-28. It was a great comeback and we showed a lot of character."

The Badgers are ranked No. 2 in the Mideast region and No. 11 overall in the RichKern.com/AVCA Division I Regional Computer Index, which attempts to mimic NCAA Tournament selections. The NCAA selection show is Sunday.

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