The No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team is going back to the Final Four for the third straight year after sweeping the No. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers into the trash for the second time this season. Wisconsin won the match 25-18, 26-24, 25-22 on Saturday night and have now won every set they’ve played in the NCAA Tournament.
UW moves on to the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio where they’ll take on the No. 1 seed Louisville Cardinals.
The Badgers won the first set in convincing fashion after going on a 5-0 run in the middle of the set on the arm of Devyn Robinson. Dana Rettke had the set-winning kill in one of the craziest points I’ve seen all season. It involved a kick! Just watch it!
After a service ace by Dana Rettke (!!!), her first one of the season, gave the Badgers a couple of set points in the second set the Gophers rattled off two straight to send it into extra points. Sydney Hilley and Robinson had a nice block and then a Minnesota error gave the set to UW.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair and the teams found themselves tied at 18 after a 3-0 Gophers run. The Badgers called a timeout, won the next two points, forced Minnesota to call timeout and then won the following three points too! Rettke had the final three kills for Wisconsin to win the match and send the Badgers back to the Final Four.
Rettke had 15 kills (.520 hitting) and four blocks and Robinson had 11 kills (.391 hitting) and six blocks to lead the Badgers attack while Hilley had another double-double (43 assists/12 digs) and Lauren Barnes had 14 digs and two aces. Airi Miyabe had 13 kills for the Gophers and Stephanie Samedy had 12 kills but the Badgers defense held Minnesota to .193 hitting as a team.
We will have much more on this match and discussions about Louisville coming up later next week, but for now...LET’S CELEBRATE ANOTHER TRIP TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!