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Wisconsin volleyball: Badgers cruise to 3-0 sweep over Michigan State

Sophomore Julia Orzoł led the way on the attack, while the defense found its footing after a tight first set.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Sophomore Julia Orzoł had a match-high 13 kills as Wisconsin cruised in a sweep of Michigan State. Three other Badgers had double digits kills
Mark Stewart / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Editors note: I’m an idiot sandwich and forgot to post this earlier

The Wisconsin Badgers (8-1 Big Ten, 14-3 overall) took care of business against the Michigan State Spartans (1-8, 10-10) in a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-16, 25-15) at the UW Field House.

Led by sophomore outside hitter Julia Orzoł, who finished with a match-leading 13 kills, including eight in the first set alone, the Badgers’ offense came out firing as UW finished with 43 total kills and just 13 errors to hit .337 on the night.

Alongside Julia Orzoł, three other Badgers — junior Devyn Robinson, senior Danielle Hart and sophomore Sarah Franklin — posted double figures for kills on the night. Senior setter Izzy Ashburn said that kind of arsenal is fun for her to play with.

“I feel like it spreads so much confidence around when any person that has the ball we can trust that person,” Ashburn said postgame. “It makes my job hard though because everyone wants the ball. It’s a good problem to have.”

Ashburn led the way setting with a team-leading 21 assists, but the Badgers faced tough opposition from the Spartans early on. MSU kept the first set tight, and was hitting a shade better than Wisconsin. With the Badgers holding just a 21-20 lead, Orzoł fired home three kills and junior middle blocker Caroline Crawford added an ace to give UW the eventual 25-22 set win.

In the second set, the Badgers’ block finally started to get involved, forcing MSU into more attacking errors and racking up more blocks. UW ended up out-blocking MSU 10-8 on the night, and the red wall caused the Spartans to hit negative in both the second and third sets.

Crawford again was solid up front as she stuffed a team-leading eight blocks. Sophomore Anna Smrek and Sarah Franklin each had four blocks as well, as Wisconsin eventually rolled through the Spartans.

Head coach Kelly Sheffield was happy with the defense finding its groove in the later sets after the Spartans found early success hitting.

“Sometimes it just takes time for blockers to get in a rhythm with the offense that is going on on the other side and I thought we did that,” Sheffield said.

Freshman libero Gülce Güçtekin polished off the Spartans as she aced on match point to keep the Badgers in second place in the conference. The Turkish libero had a team-high 11 digs. In a special instance, all 17 Badgers on the roster touched the floor at one point tonight as Wisconsin rolled to a routine win.

Up next, the Badgers travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines Sunday at 12:00 p.m. CDT. That match will be broadcast on ESPN2.