Volleyball looking for redemption against Michigan squads

first_imgOutside hitter Allison Wack and the Badgers look to get Big Ten wins over MSU, No. 15 Michigan.[/media-credit]With the first half of Big Ten play behind them, the Wisconsin Badgers are looking to build off their recent success in a homestand this weekend. Wisconsin (13-8, 2-8) will face Michigan State (11-10, 3-7) Friday and No. 15 Michigan (19-3, 8-2) Saturday.The Badgers are very familiar with both the Michigan teams, having lost at Michigan (0-3) and suffered a close loss to Michigan State in five sets (2-3).“We kind of know what the other team is brining and they know the same with us,” senior outside hitter Allison Wack said. “We’re seeing Michigan and Michigan State, when it seems like we just saw them three weeks ago.” Wisconsin has fought hard in a lot of matches, but has still come up short recently. The Badgers look to turn the tables against both teams this weekend.“Our mindset is to just win some of those close matches that we’re just barely losing,” Wack said. “When we were losing them, we weren’t playing our best, so I think we all know what we’re capable of. We say everyday in practice, focus on improving and just changing the little things.”Michigan State will first come to the Field House on Friday night. The Spartans have lost six of their last eight games, so they are looking to regain their early season success.Head coach Pete Waite feels his squad has learned from the mistakes committed earlier in the season to MSU.“We had a little bit of a slow start, so we’ve just been talking about starting faster and getting on top of teams early,” Waite said.The Badgers won their last match at home against Purdue and have won two of their last three matches. Wisconsin is beginning to find a rhythm, and has reduced self-inflicted mistakes.“[Michigan has] won two out of their last three, and we’re playing at a higher level,” Waite said. “We’re having some great surges of play. Allison Wack really came through in the last couple matches, and I think she’s really playing at a great level right now. Everyone else is really training hard in practice. Whether they’re starting or coming off the bench, whatever their role is, they’re really working hard and excited about the second half of Big Ten play.”Wisconsin is playing more confident, but on Saturday night, the Badgers will face a very tough Michigan Wolverines team. UM has won five of its last six games and has been tough to beat in conference play.“Michigan’s a great team, and every time that they come here, we battle,” Wack said. “They’re a team that we typically always have some really challenging, entertaining matches against.”Waite highlighted Michigan’s great players, including setter Lexi Zimmerman and left-handed hitter Alex Hunt. He knows his team is well prepared to face them, though, after learning from its mistakes in the first match in October. “I think the second time through, our team is going to be a lot more comfortable with everything,” Waite said. “We’re just working on a lot of things to improve our game, to make us more consistent, [have] higher percentages, and be the smartest team on the court.”After back-to-back wins against Purdue and Iowa, the Badgers have an important set of games this weekend. Both matches will be tough, but the team has shown it has the potential to compete with any team in the conference.“I think this weekend is very important,” junior Janelle Gabrielsen said. “We saw these teams already, and we lost to them and so we obviously want revenge. We’re going to be in the Field House and it’s Halloween weekend, so it’s going to be a lot of fun and I think we’re going to come out and play hard.”last_img

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