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Wisconsin Badgers Sweep Rutgers & Maryland, Extends Set Streak to 27

Wisconsin Badgers volleyball is on a heater…



Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball
Wisconsin Badgers players huddle prior to their first set against Penn State in the 2022 NCAA volleyball tournament Sweet 16 women's volleyball matchThursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at UW Field House in Madison, Wis.

I don’t even know what to say anymore. The Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team is an absolute wagon. Now, to be fair, they haven’t been playing a murderer’s row of teams during their streak of 27-consecutive sets won but…you’d expect them to have already lost one set during Big Ten play, right?

WRONG! They haven’t and, quite frankly, they may never lose another set again!

The Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball Team Is on Fire Right Now

The No. 1, and still undefeated, Wisconsin Badgers dispatched Rutgers on Friday, 25-17, 25-4, 25-16, and then took care of business against Maryland on Sunday afternoon, winning 25-15, 25-12, 25-16. Wait, hold on. I must’ve forgotten a number in the Rutgers (9-8 overall, 1-6 Big Ten) score…there’s no way that the Badgers beat a conference foe by 21 points in a set, is there?

UW tied a program record for fewest points allowed in a set (the aforementioned four) while hitting a bonkers .700 (14 kills – 0 errors – 20 attempts) in the frame. Julia Orzol had a 9-0 run behind the service during the set and Sarah Franklin put the final nail in Rutgers’ coffin with back-to-back aces to get to 25 points. Franklin ended the match with a season-high four aces and the Badgers tied a season-high with 11 aces total.

Izzy Ashburn had 33 assists, Franklin had 16 kills, and Anna Smrek had 10 kills and two aces. Wait, hold on again! Why was Smrek serving? Oh, I forgot to mention that the Wisconsin Badgers had this dominant performance with Devyn Robinson and MJ Hammill on the sidelines with injuries. Smrek hadn’t attempted a serve all season, but stepped in and did an excellent job when called upon.

The Badgers (17-0, 8-0) stayed on their heater Sunday afternoon sweeping the Terps (13-7, 3-5) without Robinson and Hammill again. Franklin had 18 kills to lead the UW attack, which hit .311 (44 kills – 12 errors – 103 attempts) on the afternoon and Ashburn had a career-high 35 assists. CC Crawford ended the two-match set with nine blocks, five of them coming against Maryland. 

With the win over Maryland, Wisconsin set a school record, having won 17 consecutive matches to start the season, and they also extended their Big Ten match winning streak to 26 and their home Big Ten match winning streak to 18. Their 27 consecutive sets won is also an NCAA season record.

“If you ask some of us, we wouldn’t probably know how many sets in a row we’ve won. I think we don’t pay attention that much to the numbers and it’s always onto the next. We know that getting stuck in the past is not going to get us any better, so it’s always what’s next,” libero Julia Orzol said after the Maryland match.

The Wisconsin Badgers will now face their toughest week of competition of the season with Ohio State and Nebraska on the docket. If they sweep those two matches…I’m not even sure what I’ll possibly about them say next week.

Up next: UW stays at home this week for their first B1G match with a Wednesday night match vs. No. 22 Ohio State (7 p.m. CT, BTN) and then they travel to Lincoln, Neb. on Saturday night for a titanic tilt with No. 2 Nebraska (7 p.m. CT, BTN).

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Drew Hamm is a seasoned sports journalist with an extensive background in covering the Wisconsin Badgers. He has previously held positions as the site manager at Bucky's 5th Quarter and founder of Badgers Ball Knower. Currently, he contributes as a staff writer for