Badgers Volleyball falls to Stanford in national championship

Badgers Volleyball falls to Stanford in national championship

If it’s any consolation, very few teams ever beat Stanford.

The third-ranked Cardinal won their third national championship in four years Saturday night in Pittsburgh, upending the No. 4 Badgers in the title match in third sets.

Wisconsin, who had won 15 of its first 16 sets in the NCAA Tournament — including three in a row over No. 1 Baylor in the national semifinals Thursday — struggled from the start, dropping the first set 25-16. Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer finished with five kills on seven swings.

Dang Dana ���#NCAAVB | @BadgerVB

— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) December 22, 2019

She kept lighting up the Badgers in the second set, en route to an early six-point Cardinal advantage. Stanford nearly duplicated its first set in the second, taking it 25-17.

You Hart to see it ❤️#NCAAVB | @BadgerVB

— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) December 22, 2019

Wisconsin’s hitting percentage suffered in the first two sets, with a .162 percentage in the first and just a .100 in the second.

The third set was a bit different, as Wisconsin matched Stanford early on behind Molly Haggerty, but the Cardinal still found a way on top. Haggerty and Dana Rettke had back-to-back blocks in the middle of the set to give the Badgers a 16-15 lead and forced Stanford’s Kevin Hambly to call a timeout.

Out of the short break, the Cardinal roared back into the lead and won the championship set, 25-20.

Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and Gov. Tony Evers were in attendance at the match in Pittsburgh.

Saturday’s match was the Badgers’ third appearance in the national championship match, and second under head coach Kelly Sheffield (2013 vs. Penn State). Wisconsin has nothing to be ashamed about this season, finishing 27-7, winning the Big Ten and taking a top-four national seed one year removed from losing in the Elite Eight to Illinois.

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