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Wisconsin volleyball: UW sweeps TCU for season opening victory

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Freshman Julia Orzol had a monster debut for the Badgers.

Freshman Julia Orzol celebrates a point during the Red/White Scrimmage last weekend.
Tom Lynn

The No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers (1-0 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) dominated the TCU Horned Frogs (0-1 overall, 0-0 Big 12) via sweep on Thursday night at the UW Field House. The Badgers won 25-13, 25-15, 25-18 and, quite frankly, were never really challenged.

A veteran, battle-tested squad, the Badgers were led by ::double checks notes:: true freshman Julia Orzol on Thursday. The freshman from Poland had 11 kills (team high, tied for match high) on 26 attempts with one error (hitting percentage of .385), an ace, three blocks and six digs. She was electric and the Field House crowd couldn’t get enough of her.

After the match, Orzol could barely put into words what her first match in Madison was like:

“The first thing that I can say is I loved the experience. Maybe I can’t find words now to describe it. I’ll think about it more later but I love the experience. I love the atmosphere and it was so good to welcome the fans and Badger community after the COVID break. I’m so glad we could be in this together, with a team, with a staff, with Badgers. I just love it. It’s an amazing feeling playing here with these guys and for these guys.”

Devyn Robinson and Danielle Hart each had eight kills to help the attack. All-America setter Sydney Hilley had a match high 39 assists and Rettke tied Orzol with three blocks herself. Lauren Barnes had 10 digs and Iowa transfer Joslyn Boyer had three of Wisconsin’s nine aces on the evening. Wisconsin hit .407 on the match while holding TCU to a paltry .119 and the Badgers had 47 kills to the Horned Frogs 26.

The veterans on the team clearly enjoy having some new blood, like Orzol, on the court.

“I think you can see that, and she’s such a valuable part of this team, makes a huge difference in every aspect of the game and I think she’s fit in real smoothly. I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks, it feels longer than that,” Hilley gushed.

This was an excellent first match of the season but the competition gets much more difficult on Saturday night as the No. 7 Baylor Bears await UW. You can watch the match on Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. CT>