Volleyball to face pair of Big Ten squads at home

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWaging a border battle of their own, the Wisconsin volleyball team will host Minnesota and Iowa this weekend at the Field House for a pair of Big Ten matches.The Badgers lost to both the Gophers and the Hawkeyes earlier this season, but the team thinks the games were too far in the past to think about.“I don’t know if there is much we can draw from because that was the beginning of the season,” head coach Pete Waite said. “I think at Iowa we just did not play well, at all. I think we picked it up against Minnesota, but we still need to be more consistent throughout the length of the match.”UW split its matches last weekend, defeating Ohio State on the road but losing to Michigan in Ann Arbor.The team came away happy from the weekend, however, believing it played well enough to win against the Wolverines.“There have been matches we won where you might not win each category, but you win the right points at the right time,” Waite said. “We did feel we played well, but there were some times in the second and third sets when we were in extra points, and every little error causes you to lose a set like that.”“I think they just got runs of points on us, and we made our own mental errors,” outside hitter Brittney Dolgner added. “We tend to get down in the beginning, so I think that is a big factor. And then we have to fight back, which we are actually getting pretty good at. I think we just need to cut down on the mental errors.”Highlighting the Badgers’ solid performance was the play of freshman setter Janelle Gabrielsen. The jack of all trades freshman recorded a triple-double with 13 kills, 10 digs and 15 assists — the first at UW in 20 years. While Gabrielsen downplays the accomplishment, the rest of her teammates praised her for it.“That is awesome for a freshman,” Dolgner said. “I mean, that is awesome for anybody, but especially for a freshman. She is really modest about it … but it was really cool.”“You see, she doesn’t understand history,” Waite added. “The last time that happened was 1988. That is a long time. She wasn’t even born then.”Gabrielsen prefers to focus on the match ahead.“We had a really good practice today, and everybody is really pumped up for the two games this weekend,” Gabrielsen said.Though most of the Badgers enjoy the “border battle,” it may mean more to the team’s other setter: sophomore Nikki Klingsporn.“I think [the border battle] is more for Nikki [Klingsporn] because she is from Minnesota,” Dolgner said. “She always really wants to beat them, and she has a lot of friends from there who give her crap about Wisconsin. So it is nice to try and get a win for her.”Despite UW’s inconsistent and sometimes frustrating season, the Badgers are confident their talent is finally meshing enough to meet preseason expectations.“I just think we want to show people what we are made of and really go out strong,” Dolgner said. “We didn’t have a very good start, but now our team is flowing more, and we are just trying to get that bid to the NCAA tournament.”last_img

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