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    Wildcats Drop Four-Set Match to No. 21 Wisconsin

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Naomi Johnson recorded 11 kills against the Badgers.
    Sophomore Naomi Johnson recorded 11 kills against the Badgers.

    Oct. 8, 2008

    NU vs. Wisconsin Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

    2008 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

    Box Score

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern fell behind early to 21st-ranked Wisconsin, then the rally came up short as the Wildcats fall in four sets (19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 19-25) to the Badgers Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The loss drops NU to 6-10 on the year and 0-5 in Big Ten play, while Wisconsin improves to 13-4 and 3-2 in conference.

    In front of an excited crowd and with the Big Ten Network cameras rolling, the Wildcats pounced out to a quick 3-0 lead. But the Badgers were able to regain composure and went on a 12-3 run to seize control of the first set. Northwestern got within five at 23-18, but Wisconsin was able to take the set 25-19. Senior Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) and sophomores Brittani Gray (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) and Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) each had three kills for the `Cats with sophomore Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) registering 10 assists.

    Set two saw each team trading point-for-point, with the set tied at 14 midway through. But a four-point streak by the Badgers was enough to take control at 18-14, as Wisconsin took a commanding lead in the match with the 25-18 second set victory. Gray again sparked the Wildcat offense with four kills, while defensively junior Kate Nobilio (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) notched five digs.

    Coming out of the break, Northwestern found new life, using 5-0 run to take the early lead at 9-5 and never looked back. Wisconsin was able to trim the gap to one at 13-12, but the `Cats closed out the set on a 12-7 run to stay alive, taking the third set 25-19 behind four kills apiece from sophomore Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) and freshman Alexandra Ayers (Playa del Rey, Calif./Marymount). Freshman Madalyn Shalter (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) took over the primary setting role and dished out 10 assists while Nobilio paced NU with five digs.

    Set four played out similarly to the other three, as neither team was able to gain control. Wisconsin began to pull away with an 11-6 run to take the lead at 15-10. Northwestern was able to get within a pair at 20-18, but the Badgers closed out the match on a 5-1 run, as Audra Jeffers and Caity DuPont sealed the victory with a block for the final point. Jeffers lead Wisconsin with nine kills and five blocks on the night, with Allison Wack adding eight kills and a pair of blocks.

    Johnson and Gray finished with 11 kills each for Northwestern, with Moffett adding eight and Hyser and Ayers finishing with seven. Hyser once again lead the `Cats in blocks with four, with Shalter setting a new personal-best with 27 assists, while killing four balls. Nobilio anchored the Wildcats defense yet again, registering 16 digs on the night.

    The Wildcats now embark on a crucial three-game road trip, beginning Friday night in East Lansing against Michigan State. Opening serve against the Spartans is set for 5:30 p.m.