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Wisconsin volleyball advances to NCAA final four

A win over Purdue Saturday advanced Wisconsin to its second-ever NCAA championship.

After taking down Purdue, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, Saturday night at the State Farm Center, No. 12 Wisconsin is headed to the NCAA volleyball championship. The Badgers will face top-ranked Texas 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday at Key Arena in Seattle. The Longhorns took down No. 8 Nebraska Saturday, and carry a nation-leading 23-match winning streak into this week.

Wisconsin's trip to the NCAA championship it's just its second ever. In 2000, the Badgers finished second to Nebraska. Head coach Kelly Sheffield, who won his 300th career match Saturday, has enjoyed a balanced attack this season. Against Purdue, Wisconsin had three players in double-figure kills, including a career-high 20 from junior Deme Morales. Junior Ellen Chapman added 19, while junior Dominique Thompson put away 15. Freshman Lauren Carlini was named the regional MVP, while Chapman, Morales and Thompson were named to the all-region tournament team.

Sheffield, hired in January after five years at Dayton, also deserves tremendous praise. In 13 years as a head coach, he's 300-121.