W (3-0) versus South Carolina
After the rough outings at home, Wisconsin made quick work of the Gamecocks in the first set, winning 25-14. Tiffany Clark personally slammed the door by serving two aces to seal it. She’d almost repeat it at the end of the second set, getting Wisconsin’s 23rd and 24th point on the serve. Service aces were a high point for Wisconsin, getting a total of 11 in the three set sweep. Overall, a nice solid thumping to get back on track.
W (3-0) at Clemson
That momentum continued the next day against the host Tigers. Wisconsin got the job done with a balanced attack at the net, as Dana Rettke, Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg all notched double-digit kills. Special shout-out to Rettke getting a match-high 14 without an attacking error.
Elsewhere Around The Conference
The headline this week was No. 7 Minnesota knocking off No. 1 Stanford on No. 4 Penn State’s home court, sending their consensus top ranking all the way down to...No. 2. Nebraska takes over the top spot, with top place votes going to the Huskers, Cardinal, No. 3 Texas, No. 6 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Minnesota. Stanford did beat Penn State in Happy Valley, so the briefest slide is understandable. Both the Gophers and Nittany Lions beat No. 14 Oregon.
For snapping a 37-match win streak, the Gophers take three of the four conference player of the week slots, leaving Freshman of the Week to Northwestern’s Temi Thomas-Ailara, her second.
No. 19 Illinois found out why they hadn’t scheduled Illinois State in a decade as they lost to their in-state rival. But then they beat Marquette! This is a real “hold on to your butts” season so far.
Sept 19th - Washington (7-1)
No. 10 in the country, but No. 2 in ‘teams that are abbreviated UW’, the Huskies have a few nice wins against Illinois and No. 15 Creighton already. Offensively, they run through OH Kara Bajema, leading the team with four kills a set. In their one loss against Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors notched 18 blocks, really ensuring that Washington’s attack could never feel secure. That’s something the Badgers would love to take advantage of.
Sept 21st - at Washington (7-1)
Wisconsin and Washington had been trying to schedule each other for a few years, and never could make it work until now, with a home-and-home done in the span of three days. College sports were never designed to do things like ‘make sense’ or ‘be understood.’ And before you want to argue, this year most college football teams have two weeks off during the season because Labor Day was on the Sept. 2.
How to Follow
Thursday’s game against Washington is at 8 PM on FS1. Everyone in the Field House is supposed to wear red. I’m looking at you Dubs.
I don’t think he’ll be there, or wear red even if he makes the trek. I’m just looking at him because he’s a good dog. Hopefully the Pac12 Network cameras find him when Wisconsin travels to the Alaska Airlines Center Saturday Night at 8 Central.
Other Games of Note
No. 2 Stanford looks to take back the crown by heading to Lincoln to face the No. 1 Huskers. No. 21 Purdue heads to No. 16 Kentucky and No. 6 Pittsburgh and No. 4 Penn State do a much easier home-and-home this weekend than the Badgers.
Wait, Michigan and Notre Dame are doing the home-and-home routine this week too. Now I feel left out.