Volleyball comes back to Field House after pair of big wins

first_imgSheffield specifically praised the way that sophomore setter Lauren Carlini handled herself and drove the team throughout the game and especially in the fourth set to get Wisconsin back on track. Carlini had 42 assists on the night.Now that the Badgers are back in Madison, they will experience a full week of practice for the first time in a while after playing weekday matches the last three weeks. Following a day off Sunday, Sheffield said he is optimistic that his players will be ready to go in practice all week.The full week of practice will be much needed as the Badgers prepare to take on newcomers to the Big Ten, Rutgers and Maryland. Both teams have struggled through the early going of the conference season with identical 0-4 Big Ten records, but they have still compiled seven wins apiece.To prepare for a pair of squads that Wisconsin hasn’t seen much of, Sheffield said much of the gameplan will revolve around watching game film of the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins. While Sheffield and the players have yet to watch Rutgers in action this season, they did see Maryland play two matches when both teams participated in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.Wisconsin has been slowly making its way back up to the top of the rankings after two loses in a row against top ranked teams, Washington and Penn State.Despite the tough, early season losses, Sheffield said his players have remained resilient.“I think they were really, really down after those two losses, and they got back in the gym,” Sheffield said. “I think there was even stronger focus, stronger will … So I think that is the thing that I’m learning about this team and the players on this team is they may get knocked down, but they don’t stay down for long.”The Badgers have bounced back strong and hope to continue that trend in the upcoming weekend against strong rivals. Their recent successes are largely due in part to the team’s strong ability to communicate with each other both on and off the court.“If there is a big, big gap between the coach and the leaders, that is when miscommunication happens,” Sheffield said. “That’s when people go off and do their own thing. Those have usually been my toughest teams is when those leaders are [on a] totally different page than me. The group here, I think we’ve got some great leaders. They’ve done a really good job of making sure that the players away from the practice are doing and saying the right things. They’re coming to practice in the right mindset.”The Badgers will face off against Rutgers Friday at 7 p.m. and Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UW Field House. The No. 6 Wisconsin volleyball team is back in Madison this weekend after two victories in their first Big Ten road games of the season.The Badgers are coming off two big wins against Northwestern (13-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and Illinois (11-4, 3-1).In his press conference Monday, head coach Kelly Sheffield addressed the team’s recent success and upcoming games.“It was a tough week. Northwestern and Illinois are two really, really good teams on the road,” Sheffield said. “I thought the Northwestern match, I thought it was … very balanced. I thought Kelli Bates, in particular, stood out that match and really played well. I thought we served the ball really well.”The Badgers defeated the Wildcats last Wednesday night in three straight sets, 25-20, 25-16 and 25-23. As Sheffield referenced, the freshman outside hitter Bates had a big night with 13 kills.After the sweep of Northwestern, Wisconsin continued the Illinois road trip with a visit to Champaign Saturday night.“Illinois, probably one of the toughest environments I’ve been in, certainly the loudest environment I’ve ever been,” Sheffield said. “We came out and executed the first couple of games and got our tails kicked in game three pretty handedly. We came back and refocused in game four. We came up with what I thought was a huge win.”The Badgers faced the Fighting Illini in front of a rowdy, sold-out crowd. Despite the hostile environment, Wisconsin won the match in four sets 25-17, 25-22, 11-25 and 25-23.So how loud is Huff?? Try an ear-splitting 105 dB!! #illiniNOISE pic.twitter.com/vZm4PNdJnY— Illinois Volleyball (@IlliniVBall) October 5, 2014last_img read more