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Wisconsin volleyball advances to Sweet 16 with NCAA tournament win over Washington State

The Badgers swept past the Cougars in their NCAA tournament win.

Senior Lauren Carlini, junior Lauryn Gillis, senior Haleigh Nelson and others celebrate.
David Stluka

No. 3 seed Wisconsin swept Washington State 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 in their NCAA second-round match on Friday at a sold-out Field House. After a slow start to the first set, the Badgers’ defense shut down the Cougars, posting 13 blocks and holding the visitors to a .067 hitting percentage.

Junior outside hitter Lauryn Gillis led the way with 12 kills and All-Big Ten seniors Lauren Carlini (.375, 33 assists, nine digs, five blocks) and Haleigh Nelson (eight kills, .533) also had big nights.

As a result of the win, Wisconsin will host third/fourth-round matches Dec. 9 and 10 at the Field House. The Badgers will play the winner of Ohio State/No. 14 seed Kansas State, who face off Saturday in Manhattan, Kan. The other third-round match will feature the winners of No. 11 seed Florida/Florida State and No. 6 seed Stanford/Boise State. Florida eliminated Wisconsin in last year’s tournament quarterfinals.

Around the (NCAA tournament-bound) Big Ten:

  • No. 1 overall seed Nebraska: Defeated New Hampshire 3-0. Plays TCU Saturday in Lincoln.
  • No. 2 seed Minnesota: Defeated North Dakota 3-0. Plays Hawaii Saturday in Minneapolis.
  • No. 9 seed Michigan State: Defeated Fairfield 3-0. Plays Arizona Saturday in East Lansing.
  • No. 12 seed Michigan: Defeated Oregon 3-1 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Plays Creighton, which upset No. 5 Kansas 3-2 on Friday, next week.
  • No. 16 seed Penn State: Defeated LIU-Brooklyn 3-0. Plays Pittsburgh Saturday in University Park.
  • Ohio State: Defeated Missouri State 3-0. PlaysNo. 14 seed Kansas State Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
  • Purdue: Lost to No. 15 seed Missouri in Columbia.