Wisconsin volleyball has traveled well so far this season, but it was nice to be home on Friday night as the Badgers played host to the annual HotelRed Invitational. It took just three sets for the No 4-ranked Badgers to dispatch of their first round opponent, Miami (FL), and remain unbeaten on the season.
It was especially nice as the Badgers dropped the banner for their Final Four appearance last season, but most importantly things stayed on track for the 2014 team. Wisconsin won the matchÂ 25-12, 25-15, 25-19 and moved to 6-0 on the season.
â€śWe did a lot of positives tonight. I thought we were pretty good on the serve and pass game. I thought they got a lot tougher with their serve in game three and we tried to lock down ourselves. We made some mental errors there in game three, but I thought overall it was a good team effort.”
It was especially impressive because of a delay that lasted nearly 40 minutes and the distraction that the pregame ceremonies honoring the 2013 season could have posed.
As the final score would suggest, the Badgers dominated the Hurricanes on nearly every front on Friday night. Leading the way was sophomore sensation Lauren Carlini, who had 35 assists to go with nine digs and four blocks.
The first set of the match set the tone, as Wisconsinâ€™s attack was relentless and it went over to the defensive side of the net as well. UW hit .429 in the first set, while Miami hit just .033 and it was all over after that.
Wisconsin went on to record a .323 attack percentage for the night, and the Hurricanes hit a .243 attack percentage.
As impressive as the attacking was for Wisconsin in the first set, it was the defense that got it done in the second. The Badgers recorded 16 digs and three blocks during the set and held the Hurricanes to just nine kills. Junior Dominique Thompson had one of those three blocks to put her career total at 300.
Wisconsin will look to continue its unbeaten season with matches tomorrow against Missouri State (noon CT) and Ball State (7:30pm CT) in the HotelRED Invitational.