Sweet Sixteen Women’s Volleyball: Penn State vs. Wisconsin
Penn State is Sweet 16 bound as it hits the road for the first time this tournament to take on the Wisconsin Badgers.
The blue and white have only lost one set in each of the first two matches but will now take on a familiar foe.
Wisconsin enters the match as one of the top teams not only in the Big Ten but in the country as well. The Badgers are on a 20 match winning streak which started against the Nittany Lions back on Sept. 30.
Ranked No. 12 at the time, the Nittany Lions were swept by the Badgers in Madison before falling again three months later, this time in five sets.
That was the last time the blue and white lost as they have won the last four games.
Last time out, the Nittany Lions lost the first set against UCF but convincingly won the next three.
Penn State hardly trailed in the second set before scoring the final four points of the third set. Then with a 2-1 lead in sets, the blue and white battled back from a 7-2 deficit to come away with the victory and advance.
Kashauna Williams was an absolute force in the match as she led the team with 15 kills.
Penn State failed to make it to the Sweet 16 last year after falling to Pitt on the road. That wasn’t a problem for Wisconsin last season as it cruised to a championship match against Nebraska and came out on top winning in five sets for a national championship.
The Badgers breezed past both Quinnipiac and TCU in the first two rounds with both wins coming in Madison. Last round against TCU, Wisconsin went on a ten point rally to close out the first set and had another one in the second set.
In both sets, the Badgers didn’t allow more than 11 points but the third set was much closer. TCU got as close as 24-23 in the third set but couldn’t complete the comeback as the Badgers made their way to the Sweet 16.
Sarah Franklin led the Badgers with 13 kills as she was the only person on either team with double-digit kills.
Penn State and Wisconsin are two of the five Big Ten teams still in the NCAA Tournament with two others in Ohio State and Minnesota also facing off in this round.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.