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No. 7 Wisconsin volleyball knocks off No. 11 North Carolina, Louisville

The Badgers toppled the Tar Heels and Cardinals in Big Ten/ACC action.

New season, same great results.

Hosting a four-team Big Ten/ACC Challenge round-robin that also included No. 4 Minnesota, No. 7 Wisconsin volleyball kicked off 2017 with a bang this weekend, sweeping matches at the Field House with Louisville on Friday and No. 11 North Carolina on Saturday.

With preseason All-Big Ten sophomore Molly Haggerty still sidelined with a back injury, Wisconsin looked for help from its heralded No. 2 recruiting class. Five freshmen made their Badgers debut on Friday against the Cardinals and their impact was immediate.

Freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke led the team with 15 kills and eight blocks, and freshman setter Sydney Hilley led the team with 36 assists as Wisconsin cruised to a 3–0 sweep of Louisville (25–18, 25–19, 26–24).

Different night, different opponent, same result on Saturday as Wisconsin swept fellow top-25 member No. 11 North Carolina 3–0 (25–21, 25–17, 25–19). The Badgers’ defense was stifling, holding the Tar Heels to a .146 hitting percentage, including a .097 second set.

Rettke once again made her presence felt, leading the team with 15 kills and five blocks. Hilley led the team with 43 assists and contributed two blocks. Preseason All-Big Ten junior middle blocker Tionna Williams had 10 kills and two blocks.

Minnesota made it an all-Big Ten affair in its half of the challenge, sweeping North Carolina 3-0 on Friday and knocking off Louisville 3-1 on Saturday.

Next up, Wisconsin heads west to participate in the K-State Invitational in Manhattan, Kan. The Badgers will face Syracuse, Arkansas, and host Kansas State over the Labor Day Weekend tournament.

All Wisconsin volleyball matches can be heard on the radio on 100.9 FM/The Big 1070 AM, including streaming through iHeart Radio.