Volleyball in 2nd after tough fight

first_imgAfter a tough five-game loss to No. 2 Penn State which left most the players in tears, No. 8 Wisconsin finds itself looking up at the Nittany Lions for the first time all year. “We are obviously disappointed in the outcome,” head coach Pete Waite said. “It was a great battle between two very good teams. … I’m proud of the team in the way they played. I thought the crowd was fantastic and we really appreciate them coming out. It was great volleyball.”Penn State also acknowledged that it was a great match and that they are going to have to fight Wisconsin the rest of the year to win another Big Ten title.“Tonight we were expecting a battle, and that’s what happened,” assistant coach Salima Rockwell said. “Our team was excited to come in here and play in front of a huge crowd. We knew Wisconsin was going to give us a good fight. We prepared hard, and I think the match turned out to pretty much what everybody expected: a good battle and a pretty tough place to play.”Even though the Badgers now find themselves in second place, they still believe they can claim that elusive Big Ten title that they have been trying to win for many years .“Anything can happen in the Big Ten,” senior libero Jocelyn Wack said. “Penn State went to five [games] with Illinois [Friday] night, so anything can happen.”Badgers spike cancerAlthough the Badgers’ main goal Sunday was to remain atop the Big Ten standings, UW did their part to find a cure for breast cancer. Wisconsin donated 50 cents per fan in attendance to the Madison affiliate of the Susan G. Koman Foundation and with 10,326 fans at the Field House, the Badgers gave over $5,000 to help cure breast cancer. “Our crowd was amazing tonight,” senior setter Jackie Simpson said. “Just to see all that support not only for our team but for the spike cancer event was really something special for us.”Penn State was also happy to participate in the event.“It’s great that so many schools and companies are willing to provide sponsorship and funding to help fight the fight against breast cancer,” Penn State head coach Ross Rose said. “It was a great match and there are always great crowds here. It was a terrific event.”With Penn State usually in town over Halloween weekend, the Nittany Lions were pleased to be playing Wisconsin a week earlier than normal. “It was nice to have a positive cause [instead of] let’s-see-how-many-people-can-get- drunk-and-wear-a-costume night,” Rose said. “It was great event, and we feel very fortunate that we won the match today.”The attendance Sunday was the first regular-season sellout in Badger volleyball history and second largest all-time. The only larger crowd was the first round match of the NCCAA tournament between Illinois and Wisconsin in 1990. The attendance that night was 10,936. The capacity of the Field House has since been lowered for safety reasons, and Wisconsin had to turn people away Sunday because of fire hazard concerns. Wack sets dig recordWith No. 8 Wisconsin up 12-6 in the first game of its match against unranked Ohio State Friday night, Jocelyn Wack dug an attack attempt by the Buckeye’s leading offensive player Danielle Meyer.It was only Wack’s second save on the night, but it gave her 1,921 for it career and moved her one ahead of Susan Wohlford and into first place on Wisconsin’s all-time dig list. “It was fantastic that Jo got her dig record,” head coach Pete Waite said. “She has just proven to be a great defensive player and a big part of our team and our success the last four years.”Wack finished the night with 16 digs and moved into third place in Big Ten history with 1,935 career digs.“It’s awesome to be a part of this program, and it says a lot about the program itself. It’s not all me,” Wack said. “A lot of the digs I get are because of the block and the way they set up, and I get a bunch of touches. I’ve had some great coaches and played with a lot of great players along the way.”Wack was also happy she was able to get the record at home in front of 6,842 fans.“It’s even better (to do it) at home in front of almost 7,000 fans,” Wack said. “It was a great feeling. They were really hoping I didn’t get it last week at Iowa. It turned out well.”Besides helping Wisconsin notch another victory, Wack was able to set the dig record in front of close to 50 Badger volleyball alumni, ranging from before the program was officially in existence to last year’s class in Maria Carlini.“The alumni are great, and there has been some great defensive specialists and liberos in the program, too,” Wack said. “For them to see that too it’s a great honor.”With 22 digs in the match against Penn State, Wack moved into a tie for second place in Big Ten history with 1,957 career digs. Wack tied former Nittany Lion Kaleena Walters. Now Wack needs just 43 more digs to become the second player in conference history to amass more than 2,000 digs in a career.last_img

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