Oct. 1, 2010
No. 25 Northwestern 3, Wisconsin 0
Wisconsin Field House Madison, Wis.
Records: Northwestern (13-1, 3-0 Big Ten); Wisconsin (11-4, 0-4 Big Ten)
Up Next: at No. 7 Illinois Saturday, Oct. 2 7 p.m.
Northwestern at Wisconsin Box Score
2010 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics
MADISON, Wis. -- The last time Northwestern defeated Wisconsin in Madison, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, head coach Keylor Chan was in middle school and Sabel Moffett, the oldest member of the Wildcats, wouldn't be born for another two years. For the first time since 1985, Northwestern left Wisconsin Field House a winner, taking down the Badgers 25-20, 26-24, 26-24.
"I'm extremely proud of our girls and how they played tonight," said Chan. "Wisconsin is an incredible atmosphere and is an extremely hard place to get a victory. We have played some great matches here and had some tough defeats, so it feels extremely good to finally pull one out. These girls realize this was a big win not just for them, but for all the other former players that they are playing for. We played well tonight, and now its time to focus and get ready for another big match tomorrow night."
Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) led the Wildcats with 12 kills, a .476 hitting percentage and five blocks with Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central) tying her career-best with 11 kills in the victory. Holthus recorded the fifth double-double of her career with 10 digs on the night to complement four blocks.
Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) added 11 kills of her own with eight blocks on the night, including the 74th solo block of her career to move her into a tie with former teammate Chelsy Hyser for eighth all-time in program history. Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) provided another threat at the nets for the Wildcats, finishing with eight kills and four blocks, while Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) dished out 41 assists with three blocks.
Three different Wildcats recorded double-digit dig totals on the night, led by 11 from Alex Ayers (Playa del Rey, Calif./Marymount). Holthus and Mary Grace Gallagher (Atlanta, Ga./The Lovett School) each had 10 digs on the night as Gallagher set a new personal best in her first career start at libero.
Set one played out in point-for-point fashion between the two rivals as Northwestern and Wisconsin split the first 24 points, resulting in nine ties and a pair of lead changes. The Wildcats began to pull away in the latter portion, using a 9-4 run to establish a four-point cushion at 20-16, then held off the Badgers for the 25-20 opening set victory. Shalter recorded five kills for Northwestern, with Moffett denying four Badger attacks.
Wisconsin jumped out to the quick start and led for the majority of the second, but the Wildcats would rally to tie the set on eight different occasions down the stretch before finally taking their first lead at 25-24. A block from Johnson and Glab sealed the comeback as the Wildcats steal set two 26-24 behind six kills from Johnson and five from Moffett.
Again, it was the Badgers with the early momentum after the intermission, building an early 11-7 lead in set three. But again, Northwestern rallied down the stretch, tying the set at 19 and setting up another nailbiting finish. Wisconsin used a 3-0 run to take the 23-21 edge, only to see Northwestern rally to tie things up yet again. Facing set point, the Wildcats converted off a Badger attack error to setup a kill by Moffett to take the lead, then a block from Moffett and Johnson sealed the victory for Northwestern 26-24. Holthus contributed five kills in the closing set and Johnson posted a pair of blocks, including the match-clincher.
Northwestern now sets its sights southward, traveling to Champaign, Ill., for an in-state showdown against seventh-ranked Illinois Saturday night. The match will have more than just rivalry bragging rights on the line as the victor will find itself in first place atop the Big Ten standings. Opening serve at Huff Hall is set for 7 p.m.
Northwestern's victory over Wisconsin is the first for the Wildcats in Madison since the 1985 season. It also marks the first sweep of the Badgers since a 3-0 victory in 2003.
The Wildcats are 3-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since the 2002 season.
Northwestern dominated Wisconsin defensively at the nets, recording 13.5 team blocks to the Badgers' two.
The match featured 27 ties and 10 lead changes, including 10 ties and seven lead changes in the third set.
Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) missed the match due to a shoulder injury suffered in practice Thursday, giving Gallagher her first career start.
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