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Dana Rettke powers Badgers volleyball team to second sweep of Dayton

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The scores may have been fairly similar, but the process of getting there was significantly different.

One night after a rather lackluster effort in a sweep over Dayton, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team looked more like the No. 2 team in the nation Friday night with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-20 sweep of the Flyers.

“I thought we did a lot better job tonight of playing the entire match,” coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Last night I didn’t think that was necessarily the case. We came out and dominated the first set and I thought their effort was better than ours the last couple sets.

“I thought both teams played with a lot of energy tonight, a lot of effort and played really hard. There were some really good rallies for both sides and both teams displayed a lot of toughness. That’s fun to be in those types of matches.”

After not having much fun in victory on Thursday night, Dana Rettke said she and her teammates were determined to make amends in a rare back-to-back non-conference matchup, even though there was only a five-point difference in the cumulative score.

“After last night I think we all knew there were points we left on the floor,” said Rettke, who led the Badgers with nine kills despite sitting out the third set. “That’s never the way you want to end a match when you walk off the floor. We want to make sure that our effort is 100 percent throughout the whole match and I just don’t think that was the case last night.

“Going into tonight I think we all had a good mindset of what we needed to do and the adjustments we needed to make. Overall, I think the team responded really well. There’s always points to be had and that’s what we’re going to dial in on the rest of the season.”

Sophomore Jade Demps, filling in for freshman Julia Orzol at outside hitter for the second consecutive match, was determined to make her presence felt on Friday. Thanks in part to a little push from Sheffield.

“Coach called me out last night,” Demps said. “He was like, ‘Man, your presence just wasn’t there.’ I took a lot of time yesterday and today just thinking about that and what I needed to do and what my team needed from me. I basically went with the attitude that I’m going to leave it all on the court and just go as hard as I can.”

Demps had a clean offensive night with seven kills and no errors, hitting .389. She also got some opportunities to play the back row and contributed three digs and handled four serves successfully.

“From last year to this year I’ve been working a lot on perfecting my all-around game because I know there will be a time where I’m going to try to get in six rotations, so I have to be ready for that,” Demps said.

Sheffield tinkered with his lineups a little, substituting 6-foot-9 freshman Anna Smrek in the middle for Danielle Hart in the second set and Rettke in the third. Smrek contributed four kills and a block and hit .429.

“We know she’s got a lot of talent,” Sheffield said. “She was a little bit jittery tonight, got in the net a couple times. But we’ve got confidence in her.”

One thing that particularly pleased Sheffield was the defensive play in the third set. On Thursday night the Flyers hit .333 in taking the Badgers to the limit before falling 25-23. Friday they kept things close but hit just .053 with 10 hitting errors.

“If you hold any team under .100 in a set, there’s something going your way,” Sheffield said.

Redshirt senior Jamie Peterson led the Flyers (2-3) with 11 kills. Sheffield was impressed by her, as well as outside hitter Lexie Almodovar and libero Maura Collins.

“She might be the most underrated player in the country,” Sheffield said of Collins, who had 13 digs. Both of their outsides are a handful. That’s a really good team that battles.”

Dayton’s three losses have come to No. 3 Kentucky and to UW.

The Badgers will face Kentucky next Friday and Sheffield hopes Friday’s match is a sign of things to come for his team.

“I thought we were a little more resilient after errors,” he said. “We weren’t hanging our heads. When you’re playing really good teams you’ve got to be great at staying in the moment, of being present. If you’re thinking about what just happened, you’re going to be toast with really good teams. That’s something we did a lot better job of today.”

Dayton 16 14 20

Wisconsin 25 25 25

DAYTON (kills-digs-blocks) — Collins 0-13-0, House 0-1-0, Almodovar 9-8-0, Papesh 0-0-0, Moore 8-0-0, Hawken 1-0-0, Miller 0-0-0, Swink 1-2-0, Peterson 11-10-0, Yates 5-0-0, Winner 0-1-0, Wuensch 0-2-0, Sandt 2-3-0. Totals 37-42-0.

WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Barnes 0-13-0, Hilley 2-9-6, Gregorski 0-0-0, Boyer 0-1-0, Civita 0-4-0, Robinson 6-1-1, Ashburn 0-9-0, Smrek 4-0-1, Demps 7-3-0, Rettke 9-1-3, Hart 5-1-4, Loberg 6-1-3. Totals 39-43-9.

Hitting percentage — D .120, W .344. Aces — D 1 (Peterson) , W 5 (Ashburn 3). Assists — D 31 (Sandt 25), W 38 (Hilley 32). Att. — 7,540.


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