No. 8 Wisconsin volleyball finished the regular season in style this weekend, going on the road to knock of Rutgers and No. 7 Penn State.
The Badgers (22–6, 15–5 Big Ten) swept Rutgers Friday 25–15, 25–18, 25–12. Wisconsin hit .302 for the match and held the hapless Scarlet Knights to just .011 (including .000 in the first and third sets). Rutgers did not have an ace.
Wisconsin went into Saturday’s nationally-televised match with Penn State having not won at University Park since 2002. The Badgers came home with the hard-fought victory, knocking off the Nittany Lions 25–20, 22–25, 25–23, 19–25, 21–19 in an instant classic.
Outside hitter Madison Duello had 24 kills. Middle blocker Dana Rettke led the Badgers with a career-high 11 blocks. Hilley double-doubled with 61 assists and 13 digs. The sophomore may have made the play of the match, saving a crucial point in the fifth set with Penn State on match point. Rettke (14 kills, 11 blocks), Grace Loberg (11 kills, 12 digs), and Molly Haggerty (10 kills, 13 digs) also double-doubled.
Wisconsin finishes the regular season with a six-match winning streak, including victories over then-No. 13 Purdue and No. 7 Penn State. The Badgers, who finish tied for third in the Big Ten, are currently sixth in RPI and likely to be at least top-seven when the final regular-season AVCA poll comes out on Monday.
With the regular season in the books, focus turns to the NCAA tournament. Minnesota, host of this year’s Final Four, has already claimed the Big Ten’s automatic bid.
While a No. 1 seed seems unlikely, Wisconsin should be in the hunt for a No. 2 seed, allowing the Badgers to host first and second-round matches. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 CT on ESPNU and streaming on ESPN3.