Wisconsin Wins InnTowner Invitational

Wisconsin proves its No.11 preseason ranking wasn't a joke, sweeping all three opponents to win the InnTower Invitational.

MADISON - The 11th-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team won the 2007 InnTowner Invitational, going undefeated in the tournament. In their last match, the Badgers (3-0) beat Syracuse(1-2) in three games (30-16, 30-17, 30-27) in front of 3,941 at the UW Field House. The UW won the tournament for the 13th time in the 16-year history of the event.

"I think it was a good finish to the weekend," said Coach Pete Waite. "We did really well in the first two games and then when I made some changes to the lineup to try some things. We got out to a bit of a slow start but I thought we made a good comeback. It says a lot for a team stepping up when they needed to and getting stronger and tougher together."

Sophomore Brittney Dolgner led Wisconsin's offense with 17 kills and 18.5 points. "When Pete subbed for me to go in during game three," explained Dolgner, "I said to myself ‘He is putting me in for a reason and somebody has got to turn this game around.' I just took it on my shoulders to do what I could to help the team."

Senior co-captain Jocelyn Wack led the Badger defense with 20 digs in the match and the tournament MVP, senior Jackie Simpson, recorded nine digs and 47 assists.

The 6-0 setter was pleased with her performance on Saturday. "I was a little nervous Friday and I had to get it out of my system," Simpson said. "I went in there today knowing I had to turn my game around and I played well and tried my best."

Junior Audra Jeffers added 12 kills to the Badger offense and led the Badger block with five stuffs. Junior Katherine Dykstra and senior co-captain Taylor Reineke each added four block assists on the night.

Wisconsin again had an impressive night on the service line, recording eight aces and only five errors. Wack brought her topspin jump serve to the service line and led the team with three service aces. Syracuse failed to ace the Badgers on the night.

The Badgers had to make a dramatic comeback in game three, as they were down 8-0 early in the game. They later tied the score at 22-22 and pulled ahead thanks to kills from sophomore Morgan Salow and one apiece from Jeffers and Dolgner.

As a team, Wisconsin outhit Syracuse .223 to .036 in team hitting and 54 to 27 in kills. The Badgers also outdug the Orange (55 - 43).

Kacie MacTavish and Samantha Ainsworth each recorded five kills for Syracuse while Brittney Kern recorded five block assists and Joscie Kaup had 13 digs in the match.

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