Wisconsin Volleyball advances to Final Four

Wisconsin Volleyball advances to Final Four

The Badgers are heading back to the Final Four.

For the first time since 2013 and the third time in program history, Wisconsin Volleyball won its NCAA Tournament regional and will be heading to Pittsburgh next weekend with a chance to win its first championship.

To get to this point, the Badgers made quick work — of everyone.

After rolling through the tournament’s first three rounds (nine sets, three sweeps), the No. 4 Badgers disposed of Big Ten rival No. 5 Nebraska in three sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-19) at the UW Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

Wisconsin continued its stretch of dominance in the first set, 25-18. Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg had nine of the Badgers’ 10 kills, leading them to the quick start, despite a team hitting percentage of .139.

The second set was arguably the most competitive the Badgers have had so far in the tournament. Nebraska held several leads, including a 14-11 advantage that led to a Wisconsin timeout. But out of the break, the Badgers finished the set on a 14-8 run to take a 2-0 lead.

In the third set, Wisconsin stayed a point or two ahead of Nebraska for a majority of the set.

The Cornhuskers didn’t have an answer for Haggerty all night as she finished with a team-high 14 kills. Big Ten Player of the Year Dana Rettke finished with six kills and three blocks.

Under head coach Kelly Sheffield, the Badgers have made it to at least the Sweet 16 each of the past seven years, but this is only the second time Wisconsin is making it to the Final Four. In 2013, Wisconsin finished as the runners-up to Penn State after losing in four sets.

Wisconsin made its first appearance in the Final Four in 2000, losing to Nebraska in the national championship in five sets.

The Badgers will get a shot at No. 1 Baylor on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

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