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Wisconsin volleyball falls to Illinois in Elite Eight

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Badgers drop 3-1 heartbreaker to Illini

Michael T. Braun

CHAMPAIGN - Wisconsin volleyball’s NCAA tournament run came to an end Saturday as the No. 6-seed Badgers fell to No. 3-seed Illinois 3-1.

Wisconsin (25-7) started off hot, hitting .419 in the first set and rolling the Illini 25-15 in the second set. Cold hitting and service errors in the third and fourth sets caught to up the Badgers, however, as the Illini advanced to the Final Four.

Sophomore Dana Rettke led Wisconsin with 21 kills, hitting .515 for the match. Setter Sydney Hilley had 55 assists. Senior outside hitter Tionna Williams finished her career with 13 kills, including her 1000th career kill.

Illinois setter Jordyn Poulter finished the match with 51 assists and was voted the region’s Most Outstanding Player. The Illini advance to the Final Four and will take on the winner of Nebraska-Oregon regional final.

Wisconsin looks ahead to the future. Williams graduates, but the Badgers return the majority of their core, including Rettke and Hilley. Wisconsin also has a strong incoming recruiting class, including three Under Armour All-American first team members.