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Wisconsin volleyball continues climb to top of polls

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The Badgers swept through the Hoosier state with wins over Purdue and Indiana.

Another weekend, another ranked team goes down to Wisconsin.

The road warrior Badgers continued their winning ways this weekend, defeating No. 17 Purdue 3-2 on Friday in West Lafayette and sweeping Indiana 3-0 on Saturday in Bloomington. The win was the Badgers’ sixth win against a top-25 opponent, four of which have come on the road. As a result, UW remains undefeated in the Big Ten and extended its win streak to seven matches.

The victories aren’t the only thing the Badgers have to celebrate this week. They moved up to No. 2 in the AVCA Top 25 (more on that below) and finished No. 1 in the first RPI rankings of 2016 released on Monday.

Friday, Sept. 30 at No. 17 Purdue

It was yet another dramatic comeback in a hostile environment against a ranked opponent on Friday as the Badgers rallied from 2-1 down to defeat the Boilermakers 3-2. Sophomore phenom Tionna Williams set a career high with 17 kills. Senior Lauren Carlini had six blocks and 56 assists for the Badgers. Kelli Bates had 15 digs while freshman libero M.E. Dodge added 13.

Saturday, Oct. 1 at Indiana

The Badgers made short work of the Hoosiers on Saturday, sweeping them 3-0. UW hit a whopping .591 in the first set. Things were a little closer in the second set before the Badgers cruised in the third. Juniors Bates (nine) and Lauryn Gillis (seven) and freshman Molly Haggerty (seven) led the way in kills. Dodge had nine digs and Carlini seven.

The Badgers take on Rutgers on Wednesday in Piscataway, N.J. They return home for a match with No. 24 Illinois on Saturday (7:30 p.m. at the Field House). If the Badgers make it through unscathed, a No. 1 vs No. 2 showdown looms when Minnesota comes to Madison on Oct. 12. The Big Ten slate stays tough with road matches with No. 23 Michigan and No. 3 Nebraska around the corner.

Around the (Ranked) Big Ten

We have a new No. 1, and it’s everyone’s favorite rival: Minnesota!

  • No. 1 Minnesota: Defeated Indiana 3-0 in Bloomington. Defeated Purdue 3-0 in West Lafayette. Sophomore Samantha Seliger-Swenson was named Big Ten Setter of the Week and outside hitter Alexis Hart was named Freshman of the Week as the Gophers moved up to No. 1 in the AVCA Top 25.
  • No. 3 Nebraska: Defeated No. 24 Illinois 3-0 in Urbana-Champaign. Lost (?!?!) to No. 14 Ohio State in Lincoln.
  • No. 14 Ohio State: Defeated Northwestern 3-0 in Columbus. Defeated then-No. 1 Nebraska 3-1 in Lincoln (!!!). Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe was named Big Ten Player of the Week and senior libero Valeria Leon was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after the Buckeyes upset the Huskers on the road.
  • No. 15 Penn State: Defeated No. 21 Michigan State 3-0 in University Park. Defeated No. 23 Michigan 3-0, also at home.
  • No. 17 Purdue: Tough weekend for the Boilermakers. Lost to the Badgers 3-2. Lost to new No. 1 Minnesota 3-0.
  • No. 21 Michigan State: Lost to No. 15 Penn State on the road. Defeated Rutgers 3-0 in Piscataway.
  • No. 23 Michigan: Defeated Rutgers 3-0 in Piscataway. Lost to No. 15 Penn State 3-0 in University Park.
  • No. 24 Illinois: Lost to then-No. 1 Nebraska 3-0 in Urbana-Champaign. Defeated Maryland 3-2 in College Park.

All in all, a good week to be a Badger.