MADISON, Wis. – After spending the morning with young cancer patients from the American Family Children’s Hospital, the sixth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team used that inspiration to down Rutgers in straight sets on Saturday afternoon in the UW Field House.
The Badgers swept the Scarlet Knights, 25-9, 25-15, 25-10, in their Childhood Cancer Awareness match while giving the children a full game day experience.
Wisconsin (9-1 overall, 2-0 B1G) hit a season-best .455 (44 kills – 4 errors – 88 attempts) led by Madison Duello and Danielle Hart, who tallied 11 kills each. UW held Rutgers (6-9, 0-2) to an opponent season low hitting percentage of .056 (24-19-90).
Strong serving highlighted the day as Wisconsin earned an 8-1 advantage behind the service line. Three Badgers recorded two aces, Duello, Sydney Hilley and Molly Haggerty. Mallory Dixon and Sarah Dodd each added one ace.
Stringy defense also helped UW blow past the Scarlet Knights with the Badgers out digging RU 42-29 and out blocking them 11.5-2. In the backcourt, Haggerty had a team-best 10 digs and at the net, Dana Rettke recorded a match-high six blocks.
— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) September 22, 2018
S1 | With Molly Haggerty behind the service line, UW went on an 8-0 scoring run to take a 19-5 lead, highlighted by back-to-back aces from Haggerty and three Rettke kills.
S1 | Tionna Williams and Danielle Hart teamed up for back-to-back blocks to close out the first set 25-9.
S2 | The Badgers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second set with three UW kills and a RU attack error. UW upped its lead to 10-4 off a kill by Haggerty.
S3 | Dana Rettke recorded her 500th career kill in the middle of the third set to give Wisconsin a 11-3 lead. Junior Mallory Dixon came off the bench to serve three straight and give the Badgers a 15-4 lead.
Notes to know
- Redshirt freshman Danielle Hart recorded a career-high 11 kills while hitting a career-best .688 with no errors. The 6-4 middle blocker also tied her career high with six blocks.
- Junior Mallory Dixon recorded her first service ace of the season and just the fifth of her career. The 5-9 setter/defensive specialist also had a career high two digs.
- Sophomore Nicole Shanahan saw her first action of the season, putting away one kill on three attempts with no errors.
- Junior Sarah Dodd tallied her first service ace of the season and had a season-high six digs.
- The Badgers outblocked their ninth opponent of the season, recording an 11.5 – 2.0 advantage in blocks.
- Wisconsin has won five matches in a row, its longest winning streak since winning nine in a row during the 2017 non-conference season.
Straight from the court
“The day got started off in a great way seeing the young kids that came in this morning and making the t-shirts for the players. That interaction and seeing the smiles on a lot of peoples faces, was for me a really special thing to see and be part of with the players.
“During the match, I thought we were steady all the way through. As we were making subs, I thought we continued to play clean. The young, powerful, confident player to my right (Danielle Hart) I thought did a really good job today, cleaned up some of those net violations early on and away she was running, so it was all certainly good to see.”
-Head coach Kelly Sheffield
“It was pretty amazing when we were in there getting these shirts and you’re watching the smiles on their faces. I’m getting chills and watery eyes even now. It’s just awesome stuff. The fact that we get to have an impact on those kids and bring that to their day, that’s awesome. That’s the cherry on top.”
-Middle blocker Danielle Hart
It’s Border Battle week for the Badgers as they head to No. 7 Minnesota for their first Big Ten road match Wednesday at 8 p.m. Fans can watch the match on the Big Ten Network.