The Rutgers women's volleyball team continued its season on Friday and Saturday with a series of home games against Wisconsin. After splitting their series last week against Indiana, the Scarlet Knights (1-5, 1-5) lost both games against the No. 1 Badgers (6-0, 6-0), who remain undefeated.
On Friday, Rutgers fell in straight sets to the number one team in the nation. After losing by 7 points in the first set, the Knights fought back and came within 2 in the closing minutes of the second set, which they would ultimately end up losing 20-25. In the third and final set, Rutgers only managed to put up 16 points, losing by 9 and giving Wisconsin the win.
The following day, the Knights were able to put up just 12 and 11 points in their first and second sets, respectively. Though the third set was a much closer contest, the Badgers extended their winning streak to six and handed Rutgers its third straight loss.
Junior setter Inna Balyko, who is the current Big Ten Setter of the Week, made 23 assists on Friday. Senior right side hitter Kamila Cieslik helped lead the offense once again, registering 10 kills and six digs while hitting at a team high 0.471 percentage.
On the defensive side, junior middle blocker Shealyn McNamara garnered three blocks, which helped the Knights hold Wisconsin, who went into the game as the best-hitting team in the Big Ten and the third-best nationwide, to a season low 0.293 percentage.
Saturday night was much more evenly divided offensively. Cieslik continued her strong play with six kills, while senior right side hitter Beka Kojadinovic and junior outside hitter Anastasiia Maksimova each had seven. Kojadinovic also added an ace, which proved to be the only one Rutgers would get for that game, and added a team-high eight digs. McNamara remained the Knights’ defensive anchor, adding two blocks on the night.
Redshirt freshman setter Lauren DeLo, who came off the bench, led Rutgers in helpers and earned double-digit assists for the first time in her young career.
The Knights will face another in-conference challenge in their next series, playing at home next weekend against No. 4 Nebraska.
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