UW loses to Hoosiers in 4, swept by Nittany Lions

first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team played two very different matches over the weekend, but both of them ended with the same result.The Badgers were swept by Indiana and No. 1 Penn State at the Field House, dropping their record in the Big Ten to 4-6 at the halfway point of the season.The Hoosiers didn’t play the prettiest match Sunday, but a slew of UW errors allowed them to leave with the win.“I think it starts with ball control all the time, and attitude,” head coach Pete Waite said. “I don’t think we had either tonight. It was just unacceptable the way they approached the match, and the way they approached every point. They have to find some fire within them as a group. Occasionally, we have individuals here or there that have it, but it is so spotty that it is hard to get momentum.”The Badgers appeared in control after the first set, downing IU 25-22, despite only hitting .065 for the set. The Hoosiers seized momentum for the rest of the match, however, and finished off the Badgers 25-21, 25-23 and 25-20.“In this sport, half the time the ball is on your side of the net and the other team can’t bother you at all,” Waite said. “You just need to play ball. So, if you handle the ball well, and control the ball well, you have great chances to score all the time. But we are creating so many unforced errors on our side — we are just handing points over.”Senior captain Audra Jeffers provided the only consistent threat for the Badgers, finishing the match with 10 kills and a .296 hitting percentage.“I am just kind of disappointed on the way things went,” Jeffers said. “I am just extra-motivated to get in there and try and find some way to fire the team up. It is like Coach said, it is just about attitude. We are trying to bring that out, but it just can’t be a few people, it has to be everyone.”The Badgers went to their bench several times in the second set, and Waite substituted often throughout the match, trying to find a winning combination. Most notably, Waite took out sophomore hitter Allison Wack for junior Caty DuPont.“If someone is struggling, we have to search for someone that is going to come in and help,” Waite said. “We were trying to shore things up a bit. I thought Allison [Wack] was struggling a bit early; we made the change, and I think it did some OK things, but that also forces us into some situations that are not the same as we have done.”Wisconsin currently holds a four-match losing streak, but they are not making any excuses for their inconsistent play.“At times, we have had two freshman starters out there, but there are a lot of other upperclassmen that are there,” Waite said. “At this point in the season, I would expect us to be flowing better together and be more consistent with our play.”The Nittany Lions came to the Field House with a perfect 20-0 record Friday, and the Badgers fell to PSU in three straight sets. Despite the sweep, however, the Badgers felt they competed well against the nation’s top-ranked team.“That’s a very good team,” Waite said. “They only lost one starter from last year’s national championship team and they’re more athletic, more mature. They make [fewer] errors, and there’s such a small margin of error on our side of the net. You just cannot make an error because they’re not going to make any.”The Nittany Lions won the three sets 25-20, 25-16 and 25-21. PSU recorded nine total blocks to UW’s five, and out-hit the Badgers .340 to .133.“I thought we battled pretty well, but they’re hitting at such high angles — you can’t even train that, and you don’t even play most teams on your schedule with balls coming at you at that height over the top of your block,” Waite said. “Some of them have great reaches. They don’t just reach and hit it down where your block is — they hit it, reach high and hit deep in the court, which is a great shot and very tough to defend.”last_img read more