CLEMSON, S.C. — The University of Wisconsin volleyball came out dealing aces to get back on the right track Friday night.
The No. 9 Badgers had 11 service aces, including five by senior Tiffany Clark, in a sweep of South Carolina 25-14, 25-18, 25-21 as part of the Clemson Classic.
The team total came up one short of the UW record of 12 aces in a three-set match last year against North Texas. Clark’s five aces were one shy of Lauren Carlini’s three-set record set in 2016 against Rutgers.
“We kept them off balance,” UW coach Kelly Sheffield said. “There were 11, but it could’ve been quite a bit more. Some of those misses were just missing the lines. I thought we served with confidence and freedom and did a pretty good job out there.”
Clark got three of her aces in the first set, including the last two points of the set to cap a 5-0 finishing run for the Badgers (3-2), as they bounced back from home court losses to Marquette and Baylor last week.
The second set finished in a similar manner, with Clark getting two more aces in a closing 5-0 run.
Clark also served in a key 5-0 run early in the third set as the Badgers went from a 9-8 deficit to a 13-9 lead. The Gamecocks (5-4) got back within one point at 17-16, but the Badgers held off the challenge and pulled away late in the set.
Redshirt junior Molly Haggerty and junior Dana Rettke led the Badgers with 10 kills apiece. Redshirt sophomore Danielle Hart and junior Grace Loberg added eight kills each.
Clark had 10 digs to lead the way in that category, while Rettke topped the Badgers with four blocks.
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Other than the success from the service line, Sheffield wasn’t overly excited about his team’s performance.
“I thought it was a little bit uneven,” he said. “A lot of our points were coming kind of quickly from the service line. I thought our blocking was a little bit jittery. I’m not sure we were as good defensively as I’d like to see. I feel like we can be a little bit better defensively than what we were.”
The Badgers will face host Clemson (5-3) in the Classic finale today. The Tigers lost a five-set match to South Carolina on Thursday.
Wisconsin 25 25 25
South Carolina 14 18 21
WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Rettke 10-5-4, Haggerty 10-2-0, Hart 8-0-2, Loberg 8-0-2, Hilley 3-4-2, Shanahan 2-0-2, Barnes 0-4-0, MacDonald 0-0-0, Bell 0-0-0, Ashburn 0-3-0, Clark 0-10-0, Dodge 0-6-0. Totals 41-34-6.
SOUTH CAROLINA (kills-digs-blocks) — Robinson 10-0-3, Vastine 7-9-3, McLean 6-2-0, Shields 3-2-1, Edwards 1-1-4, Koehler 1-4-1, Bryant 0-1-0, Bowers 0-1-0, Covas 0-3-0, Eastridge 0-0-1, Starr 0-0-0, Weber 0-2-0. Totals 28-25-7.
Hitting percentage — W .337, SC .169. Aces — W 11 (Clark 5), SC 6 (Shields, Covas 2). Assists — W 39 (Hilley 33), SC 26 (Koehler 19). Att. — 234.