Wisconsin (2-0) — now the likely No. 1 ranked team in the nation — kept its winning ways in the early season, sweeping the TCU Horned Frogs (0-2) 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21) to finish a perfect opening weekend.
Senior Devyn Robinson led all players with 15 kills on the night, including five kills during the opening set to lay down a gauntlet to the opponents. The Badgers got off to a quick start, going ahead 17-9 early and forcing the Frogs to take both early timeouts in that stretch.
Junior Julia Orzoł, who this match was playing as an outside hitter with sophomore Gülce Güçtekin starting as libero, opened the match with some early kills while Robinson had five in the first set. Temi Thomas-Ailara, who had 12 kills Friday night against Baylor, was rested, meaning both Orzoł and Güçtekin stepped into their roles from last season.
Setter Izzy Ashburn opened the match with two aces, and Wisconsin did not trail the rest of the first frame. Robinson had five kills at the start while CC Crawford, Anna Smrek and Carter Booth pitched in with multiple blocks in the early going.
With these two up front, good luck pic.twitter.com/2A6MhsMxQj— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) August 26, 2023
The Badgers finished with 10 blocks as a team, with Booth adding seven kills up front. The transfer from Minnesota made her presence felt in a huge front row, with UW outblocking TCU 10 to seven on the day.
While Melanie Parra, TCU’s star outside, gave UW some fits in moments — she had eight kills on the day as the Frogs’ top player — the Badgers could shut down the attack form the Fort Worth side.
Güçtekin and Orzoł posted double digit digs on the night to confront TCU’s attack. Wisconsin out-dug the Frogs 39 to 32, while Güçtekin had 10 and Orzoł had 11.
It was another night where the Badgers forced more attacking errors from their opponent. UW hummed while hitting .344 in the match — no set dipped below the .300 mark hitting — while TCU was stymied with 18 attacking errors and hitting just .120 on the match.
Outside hitter Sarah Franklin once again reached double digits, sending home 11 kills for UW on a .308 hitting percentage.
It was another comfortable night for Wisconsin, even without Thomas-Ailara’s potential All-American level play.
The Badgers’ next match is a visit down south to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the No. 25 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) on Wednesday and Thursday night. Both games are at 7:00 p.m. Central, with the first match on ESPNU and the second match streaming on ESPN+