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Wisconsin volleyball: UW comes out strong against Rutgers, completes sweep

The 3-0 win for UW is their fifth sweep, in six matches, of the season.

@BadgerVB; UW Athletics Commuications

After a flat start last match against Rutgers, the Wisconsin Badgers brought more energy from the jump en route to another 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-21) sweep of the Scarlet Knights (1-5 Big Ten, 1-5 overall).

“I thought our effort coming out of the gate was a little bit better than what it was yesterday, I thought we moved with a lot more intent. We had a better warm up, just locked in from the beginning and that was certainly an emphasis going into today,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said.

The No. 1 Badgers improved to 6-0 on the season and came out seemingly with a point to prove. In the first set, UW hit .500 percent and scored four aces. Senior outside hitter Grace Loberg had two aces in a row as she filled out the stat sheet tonight. Loberg led the team with 10 kills, had two blocks and posted eight digs.

“There’s some times that she gets some really good hand contact on there and that ball is knuckling and dancing. That run of points was certainly nice,” Sheffield noted of Loberg’s serving acumen.

Wisconsin’s defense made it tough for Rutgers all night. The Scarlet Knights only had 25 kills and had a hitting percentage of .109.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin played pretty efficient volleyball. Loberg, senior Dana Rettke, junior Danielle Hart and freshman Devyn Robinson all hit over .300 percent while also racking up kills. Rettke had nine kills and six blocks.

The Badgers never really looked tested during this game — save for the third set being tighter than the others — and looked composed and businesslike in the win. UW is taking advantage of a pretty kind early slate — the next ranked team they play is Nebraska in two weeks.

But until then, Wisconsin came out strong in this game and served better than previous series. Still, the Badgers are still undefeated and dominating the opponents in front of them. Saturday was no different story.

“We came back and watched this film and we learned a lot of things and a lot of our emphasis was on moving a lot cleaner and getting to base faster so that we were ready to react to weird things that were happening and then just going out and playing with more competitive spirit and joy. I think we did a good job of coming out and doing that today,” Sydney Hilley opined.