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    Wildcats Fall to No. 13 Wisconsin on Senior Night

    Nov. 30, 2013

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    Wisconsin Badgers No. 13 Wisconsin 3 Northwestern 0
    Welsh-Ryan Arena • Evanston, Ill. • Attendance: 1,512

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern hosted No. 13 Wisconsin to round out the regular season at Welsh-Ryan Arena Saturday night and the visiting Badgers escaped with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-14) victory in the only meeting between the two programs this season.

    "Wisconsin threw a lot at us tonight and we were ready, but we were not able to match their consistency," said NU head coach Keylor Chan. "I often talk about those critical points down the stretch that swing a set to one side or the other and we didn't win enough of those points in this match. I'm disappointed with the outcome, but certainly not the effort or the intensity that we showed."

    NU's Stephanie Holthus, playing in her final match at Welsh-Ryan Arena registered her team-high 18th double-double of the season behind 10 kills and 11 digs. Libero Caroline Niedospial turned in an outstanding defensive effort Saturday, accounting for a match-high 19 digs (6.3 per set).

    "[Holthus] has had such a remarkable journey through her four years as part of the Northwestern family," added Chan. "She has grown so much as volleyball player and as a young woman from the time she came to Evanston. We had a wonderful ceremony to honor her before the match and I hope she realizes how special she is to every person in this gym."

    Monica McGreal returned from an injury that kept her out of the lineup in Northwestern's last match and opened the scoring Saturday with the first of nine kills that she would go on to record on the night. Later on the Wildcats led 5-4 on a termination by Katie Dutchman, but a five-point run put the Badgers in the driver's seat for good. Northwestern could get no closer than two points the rest of the way before Wisconsin's Haleigh Nelson ended the first frame with a kill that gave her team a 25-19 victory.

    The 'Cats built an early 8-5 lead in the second set after a kill by Holthus, but a 7-1 run put the Purple and White in a three-point hole and prompted Chan to call a timeout. The surge continued after the stoppage and the bench boss tried to stop the momentum again when the Badgers went ahead 18-13. This time the respite helped out the Wildcats as they returned to the floor and produced a 9-3 run the knotted the score at 21-21. After Holthus evened the ledger by hammering home an overpass, UW called for timeout and responded with four-straight tallies, including back-to-back kills by Deme Morales, to produce a 25-21 win.

    McGreal tied the third set at four points apiece, but Wisconsin used the point against it to spark an 8-3 run that gave it the lead for good. The Badgers extended the lead to as many as 10 points before a block by Lauren Carlini and Tori Blake sealed a 25-14 third-set win and a 3-0 triumph for the match.

    Katie Dutchman also turned in nine kills for Northwestern Saturday night at a team-best clip of .333. The redshirt junior also added a pair of blocks.

    With the 2013 regular season now complete, Northwestern will await word of its postseason fate. The 'Cats won't wait too long because NCAA Selection Show will take place Sunday, December 1 at 8:30 p.m. and be shown live on ESPNU.

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