The No. 4 overall seed Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team swept the Illinois State Redbirds right out of the NCAA Tournament, 25-13, 25-14, 26-24, in first round action from the Field House in Madison on Friday evening.
The usual suspects helped lead Wisconsin to victory over Illinois State. B1G Player of the Year Dana Rettke had a match high 13 kills (13-3-25, .400) while B1G Setter of the Year Sydney Hilley had a match high 35 assists.
Wisconsin dominated the first set, going on a 7-0 run and two separate 5-0 runs, and the second set featured more of the same. The third set, on the other hand, saw Illinois State jump out to a 10-5 lead and force the Badgers to actually exert a little energy to come back.
Eventually, with the match tied at 24, the Badgers put the Redbirds out of their misery with a Grace Loberg kill and took the match in straight sets.
Loberg, by the way, killed off all three sets in the match on Friday night. The Badgers defense also stood tall against ISU blocking 20 shots (Rettke and Madison Duello had six each) and a trio of players had nine plus digs led by Lauren Barnes with 10 (Hilley and Tiffany Clark each had nine).
The Badgers will do battle with the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night for the right to go to the Sweet 16.
The Bruins pounded the Fighting Irish in the first match of the Friday night doubleheader. The second round match starts at 6 p.m. CT at the Field House. Wisconsin will have to keep an eye on Mac May (who Rock noted was a player to watch in his opening round preview) who had a monster game against Notre Dame.
Final stats:— UCLA Women's VB (@UCLAWomensVB) December 6, 2019
--May: 20 kills, .487%, 9 digs
--Simo: 11-0-24 (.458%), 9 digs, 3 blocks
--Thompson: 21 assists, 8 digs
--Chang: 20 assists, 6 digs
--Barry: 12 digs
--Hadrych: 7 kills
--Hinkle: 5 digs
--Mosser: 5 blocks, 4 kills
--Ryan: 4 kills, 4 digs
--Bruins hit .371 w/10 blocks