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Wisconsin volleyball: Badgers defeat Pepperdine, advance to Sweet 16

No. 6 overall seed Wisconsin volleyball advanced to the Sweet 16 on Friday, upending Pepperdine 25–16, 25–12, 15–25, 25–13 at the Field House.

The Badgers, now winners of eight straight matches, dominated the Waves over long stretches using a balanced attack to overwhelm the visitors.

Senior middle blocker Tionna Williams led Wisconsin with 14 kills, hitting .458 for the match. Outside hitters Grace Loberg (12 kills, 15 digs) and Molly Haggerty (12 kills, 18 digs) double-doubled, as did setter Sydney Hilley (48 assists, 19 digs), who continued her run of stellar play. As a team, the Badgers hit .338 for the match.

The waiting game now begins for Wisconsin. No. 3 seed Illinois defeated Eastern Michigan on Friday and faces off against Louisville on Saturday. If the Illini win, Wisconsin travels down to Urbana-Champaign for the third and fourth rounds. If Louisville manages the upset, the Badgers will host those rounds at the Field House next weekend.

As of Friday night, all seven Big Ten teams in the tournament were still alive. Elsewhere in Wisconsin’s quadrant, No. 14 seed Marquette and Cincinnati advanced. The winner of their match Saturday will take on the Illinois-Louisville winner. Wisconsin’s opponent will come out of No. 11 seed USC’s bracket—either the Trojans, Samford, Cal-Poly or San Diego.

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