Volleyball faces tough tests at Marquette

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald file photoThis weekend, the Wisconsin volleyball team will travel to Milwaukee to participate in the Marquette Cheese Bowl. The No. 13 Badgers (8-1-0) will compete against American University and Oregon State on Saturday and will finish the tournament off against Marquette on Sunday.“These are all really good teams,” head coach Pete Waite said. “None of those three are ranked, but they are all very close. I believe that they are in the 25-35 range in the country. It is going to be a very good tournament; I think that it will actually be a deeper tournament then the one we just held.”UW went 3-0 last weekend; however, its victory over then-No. 23 BYU can be described more as gritty than pretty. Waite expressed how proud he was that his team fought back and won the match but also expressed there were areas the Badgers need to work on.“We have to eliminate our unforced errors,” Waite said. “I think we gave points away sometimes where there were communication errors between players, and we have to eliminate the streaks of points that we are giving up. We want to get a side-out right away and prevent teams from gaining momentum.”The Badgers have had a lot of success this year mixing up their 5-1 and 6-2 offense and will continue to mix and match down at Marquette.“We will always be open to changing and shifting as needed,” Waite said. “Sometimes we will make the change to rest certain players on our team, because these three match tournaments are pretty draining on their bodies. And sometimes we will make the change to try and exploit a matchup. It all just depends on where we think we have an advantage.”The players are rather indifferent.“I don’t really have a preference,” sophomore setter Nikki Klingsporn said. “Whatever the team needs to do at the time I am comfortable with it.”Whether the Badgers are running a 5-1 or a 6-2, Klingsporn is vital to the offense. She leads the team in both assists and service aces and was named the MVP of the Inntowner Invitational last weekend.“It was a really big honor to win MVP,” Klingsporn said. “I thought everyone on the team played very well, and it meant a lot to me. It was a collective team effort.”While all three matches should be competitive this weekend, the American University match presents a unique challenge due to the three foreign-born players on the Eagles’ team.“American has recruited a number of foreign players on their team,” Waite said. “It is always more of a challenge with kids who have a little more experience, and we are not used to seeing their style.”These three matches represent the last of non-conference play before the Big Ten season starts. UW has only suffered one blemish so far — a loss to Miami (Ohio) — and wants to start the Big Ten season off with some momentum.“We are trying to solidify our lineup,” Waite said. “We want to find out not just who is starting, but who is coming off the bench to help out and swing the momentum of the game. Team chemistry is going to be huge going into the Big Ten play, so this tournament will be good for us getting ready.”“There are three really good teams down there,” Klingsporn added. “It will be a good test to see how we stack up in the Big Ten.”last_img

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