Michigan state volleyball was swept by No. 7 Wisconsin in their third straight game against a nationally-ranked opponent Saturday.
The Spartans quickly opened the game 4-0 as they dominated offensively while the Badgers did not have many answers. Soon enough though, they found a rhythm and captured the lead at 10-9.
From that point on in the first set, it seemed as though the Spartans hit a wall, hitting just 2.7 percent. The Badgers held the Spartans to 5 more points in the set since taking the lead, winning 25-14.
Both teams were evenly challenged during the second set. Senior outside hitter Maddie Haggerty continued to pull the Spartans back in, until the Badgers went on a 6-2 run to take the lead and eventually take the set, 25-20.
While the Badgers were about management, the Spartans had too many ebbs and flows to find consistency.
“We’re so close,” said freshman middle blocker Rebecka Poljan. “At some point, we’re going to learn and just come out and win those games we’re not supposed to.”
The third set had an almost identical start to the second set, as the Spartans, although still looking for consistency, found their energy. With 10 ties throughout the set, the Spartans stayed in it, but as Haggerty referenced after their loss against Minnesota Friday night, they let their foot off the gas too soon.
The Badgers took the final set 25-23 to make it a sweep, marking the Spartans’ fifth straight 3-0 loss.
“We’ve got to learn how to get ourselves in the position to beat great teams and with that we’ve got to continue to understand that we have to keep being terminal, we have to keep being aggressive,” said head coach Cathy George. “We’re not just going to get points against great teams. Great teams don’t allow you to do that. That’s why they’re ranked in the top 10.”
The Spartans will be on the road next week, facing Purdue Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Minnesota Saturday at 8 p.m.
“We’re going to go back and look at the film the last time we played them,” said sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Chronowski. “We have a great opportunity in Purdue to change the momentum of the season and define Spartan Volleyball.”