Volleyball on prowl to Milwaukee tournament

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoThe No. 11 Wisconsin volleyball team takes to the road for the first time this season when they make the trek down I-94 to Milwaukee for the UWM Panther Invitational. During the two-day tournament, the Badgers take on Northern Colorado (3-3) Friday afternoon and Windsor Saturday morning before taking on rival UW-Milwaukee (4-2) in the nightcap.”Going to Milwaukee is going to be great for our players because we got a lot of players from that area,” head coach Pete Waite said. “But, at the same time, Milwaukee is a tough team and a tough environment. “It’s an in-state school that really wants to do great against the Badgers. I think this will be a good test for us.”This weekend will also be a homecoming for several Badgers, as juniors Jocelyn Wack and Maya Carroll, sophomore Audra Jeffers and freshman Caity DuPont all played for the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club in high school. Junior Amanda Berkley will also get a chance to play close to home, as she is from nearby Racine. Senior assistant captain Maria Carlini will also get to have a homecoming of sorts — her hometown of LaSalle, Ontario, is a suburb of Windsor. “Windsor is a team that comes out of Ontario, and they are team that Carlini knows a few members from their team,” Waite said.Wisconsin will also look to continue their four-match winning streak this week, but the team is not looking too far ahead on the schedule. “We just go one day at a time, one game at a time,” Carlini said. “Yeah, [a winning streak] is great for our record, but the main focus is to do well and play our game and focus on one game at a time.”When they play Northern Colorado Friday, it will be the first regular-season match-up between the two teams since 1981 and will be the first meeting where both schools are Division I teams, as the Bears just moved up from Division II at the beginning of the season. “Northern Colorado, we saw last year, and they returned five out of six starters from last year,” Waite said. “They are a kind of a team that we are not going to see much before we play, so we are going to have to figure them out when we get out on the court.”Northern Colorado is led by junior outside hitter Dulcie Stone, who is averaging 2.63 kills and 2.79 digs per game so far this season. Wisconsin’s second match of the tournament will see the Badgers play the Windsor Lancers, a team that went 24-12 last season in Ontario University Athletic Conference. This will be the first-ever meeting of the two teams, though it will be considered exhibition and will not count toward UW’s record because of NCAA stipulations regarding schools from Canada.The night game will be the feature game for Wisconsin volleyball fans as the Badgers take on the Panthers, who are lead by junior Jamie Gabrielsen with 3.37 kills per game. The Badgers will also have a little extra motivation going into the match.”You always want bragging rights in the state,” Waite said. “There is no doubt about.” According to Waite, this will be a good way to prepare for Big Ten play.”This a good test for us going on the road,” Waite said. “We are going to have a lot of Big Ten matches on the road in hostile environments, and they have to get used to it and know the opponents’ fans are going after us all the time just like our fans do, so we are going to have to play a good match.”last_img

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