16 Sep

Volleyball: Wisconsin pummels Georgia in Badger Classic opener

first_imgIn hindsight, University of Wisconsin volleyball’s opening match was just a hiccup.That’s how the Badgers are viewing that opening loss to Western Kentucky after pummeling Georgia in three straight sets en route to a victory Thursday night at the Field House.The convincing performance to open the Badger Classic brought Wisconsin’s win streak to five straight games as the No. 11 Badgers look to continue improving.“I thought we passed well,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “But even more so than that … I thought we transitioned really, really well. I thought we came up with some really nice defensive plays and played scrappy and controlled.”The Badgers and Bulldogs combined for some very entertaining and long rallies in front of a packed crowd, complete with the impressive transitions Sheffield mentioned.Wisconsin infuriated and frazzled Georgia’s attack with 47 digs and 21 total blocks in the match.Seemingly everywhere on the court, the Badgers’ defense smothered Georgia the entire night. Most notably in the second set when they held the Bulldogs to only six points.Wisconsin’s ability to keep the ball in play was only doubled by their ability to end rallies with super-efficient attacking play.In that same second set, the Badgers hit at an attacking percentage of 60 percent and recorded 17 kills.Sophomore Kelli Bates spearheaded the attack with 14 kills and an attacking percentage of 40.7 percent on the night. Aided by fellow sophomore Lauryn Gillis who was just behind with 12 kills of her own.Freshman Tionna Williams stepped into her own as well, starting the match and hitting at 100 percent with seven kills until her next attempt was kept alive late in the third set.While junior Lauren Carlini again worked her usual magic and provided 33 assists on the night.But possibly the most impressive performance all night was that of Taylor Morey, who went on a 14-point service run early in the second set.“It’s something that we work on in practice all the time,” Morey said. “It’s just being able to go back to the service line and clear your mind, whether you’ve served one ball, five balls or 10. We work a lot on our in percentage and that’s something that I try to take pride with, that my serve is serve confident and in the court.”Players pointed to the overall energy of the student section as a major driving force in their performance.“We’ve been looking for ways to find momentum,” sophomore Kelli Bates said. “So when we have a crowd as big as our student section was tonight, it’s really easy to find momentum and find that energy just because of the crowd’s feedback … the fans make it a lot easier on us to find that momentum.”With hefty momentum on their side, the Badgers look forward to Kent State team tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the UW Field House.last_img read more