The now-No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers remain undefeated in Big Ten competition after traveling to Indiana and beating the No. 14 Purdue Boilermakers and the Indiana Hoosiers.
Wisconsin traveled to West Lafayette to play No. 14 Purdue for the beginning of the weekend’s match-ups. Wisconsin had its first test of the Big Ten season with the Boilermakers.
Errors hurt Wisconsin in the first set. The team committed nine errors. Purdue took the lead from the start. The Boilermakers led by six points early in the set. Purdue capitalized on Wisconsin’s small errors, and won the set 25-21. Wisconsin’s hitting percentage was .083, compared to Purdue’s of .152.
Wisconsin fired back in the second set. They took the lead in the beginning and kept it the entire set. Wisconsin’s defense blocked four of Purdue’s kills and forced Purdue to commit nine errors for the set. Wisconsin only had five errors in this set. Wisconsin increased its hitting percentage to .310. The Badgers beat the Boilermakers 25-20.
Purdue won the third set. Errors hurt Wisconsin again. The team had seven errors, compared to only one error for Purdue. Purdue’s defense had five blocks. Purdue’s offense also had 17 kills, which helped lead Purdue to win the set 25-18. Purdue led the match 2-1, the first time Wisconsin had trailed in a match during Big Ten play.
Wisconsin was not going to give up the match. The Badgers fired back to win the fourth set, 25-21. Wisconsin was playing its best offense in this set. Wisconsin had 16 kills and an extremely accurate hitting percentage of .538.
With the fear of losing its first match of the conference season, Wisconsin came out in the fifth set with a vengeance. Errors hurt Purdue immensely. Purdue couldn’t get a play set up in the first few points of the set. Wisconsin’s offense was on top of its game again in the fifth set. Wisconsin had eight kills and a hitting accuracy of .375. Wisconsin won the set, 15-9, and the match, 3-2.
Wisconsin proved it can keep its confidence going, even when the match is on the line. By keeping their composure, the Badgers managed to move past a solid Purdue team.
Wisconsin traveled to Bloomington on Saturday evening to face the Indiana Hoosiers.
Both team’s stats in the first set were in line with each other. Wisconsin had another extremely accurate set, ending the first set with 15 kills at a .522 hitting percentage. Indiana also brought 15 kills and a hitting percentage of .407 percent. However, Wisconsin’s two blocks and Indiana’s service errors hurt them. Wisconsin won the first set 25-19.
Wisconsin had another strong offensive set in the second. Wisconsin counted 16 kills at a .429 hitting percentage. Service errors hurt Indiana again. Wisconsin won the set 25-21.
Wisconsin didn’t face much challenge in the third set. Indiana’s offense lost steam. The hitting percentage was .071 in the third set. Wisconsin’s defense blocked the ball three times. The Hoosiers’ service errors hurt them once again. Indiana also had nine errors on the set. Wisconsin won 25-15, taking the match 3-0.
The No. 2 Badgers move to 4-0 in Big Ten play, and 12-1 on the season. Wisconsin is in second place of the Big Ten, behind Minnesota, and is on a seven-match winning streak.
Wisconsin travels to Rutgers Wednesday for a mid-week match-up. The Badgers then return home again on Saturday night to face Illinois.
Picture from uwbadgers.com.