Volleyball looks to get back on track against Ohio State
The University of Wisconsin’s women’s volleyball team is hoping to bounce back Sunday from a heartbreaking loss this past week in front of a sold-out home crowd. The Badgers dropped three straight sets Wednesday night against Big Ten rival Penn State (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), but UW head coach Kelly Sheffield and the team stayed positive in their post-game news conference.“I think Penn State played a really good match today,” sophomore setter Lauren Carlini said after Wednesday’s game. “I think we also played a good match. Right now, at this point in the season, we just have to focus on getting better. Tonight, I think we did some good things and some things we clearly need to improve on. We just have to keep working hard, get in the gym and obviously go back and watch film to see what worked and what didn’t.”Senior outside hitter Ellen Chapman had a big night with a game-high 13 kills. But Penn State effectively shut down other key players like senior right-side Courtney Thomas, with only one kill on the night, and junior libero Taylor Morey, who had nine digs overall, helping propel Penn State to its big win over Wisconsin (9-2, 0-1 Big Ten).But despite losing their first conference game, the Badgers did not abandon hope for how the season will turn out.“The same thing ended up happening to Penn State last year, and they ended up winning a Big Ten title and national championship,” Carlini said. “They lost to Michigan State in their first game, so anything is possible at this point in the season.”The game score may not have reflected it, but the Badgers played well against Penn State in a game hailed as a revenge match after the Nittany Lions beat Wisconsin for the national championship last year.Penn State ends Wisconsin’s post-season cinderella runIn one of the most unanticipated post-season streaks in program history, the Wisconsin volleyball team fell to Penn State 3-1 Read…With a packed gym full of Wisconsin supporters Wednesday, the Badgers rallied and stayed almost even with Penn State throughout the night.“The most important thing right now isn’t winning this part of the year,” Sheffield said. “If you’ve got big goals at the end of the year, the most important thing is improving. Nothing can be more important than getting better.”The Badgers don’t have much time to work out any kinks before they are back again in the UW Field House on Sunday against another Big Ten foe, Ohio State (9-4, 0-1 Big Ten). Ohio State also dropped its first Big Ten matchup against No. 17 Minnesota on Wednesday night.The Buckeyes pose a threat to the Badgers with sophomore middle hitter Taylor Sandbothe. Sandbothe currently ranks 13th in the Big Ten in kills per set and also leads the Big Ten rankings in blocking with 1.62 blocks per set. To pull out a win, Wisconsin will have to hit around Sandbothe’s big block and shut her down defensively.The Badgers will play the Buckeyes at 1 p.m. from the UW Field House.