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Wisconsin Volleyball Sweeps Ohio State, Michigan; Remains Undefeated

Wisconsin volleyball has started off conference play with a bang to remain undefeated in their 2023 campaign.



Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball
Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield watches his team during their volleyball match against Marquette Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. Official attendance was 17,037 making it the largest indoor regular-season crowd for a volleyball match in NCAA history and the largest crowd to see a women’s sporting event in Wisconsin history.

Through four Big Ten matches, the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team has yet to lose even a single set. Through 13 overall matchups this season, the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team has yet to lose even a single match. Through their last 22 Big Ten matches, dating back to last season, the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team has yet to lose even a single match. It’s tough to find new ways to say “this team is really good” every week, so I’ll continue to let the numbers speak for themselves.

Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball Starts Off Big Ten Play with a Bang

In Columbus, Ohio last Wednesday night, the Badgers (13-0 overall, 4-0 B1G) made quick work of the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes, winning 25-19, 25-20, 25-18. A potent and balanced Badgers attack kept OSU off balance all night led by Sarah Franklin’s 11 kills. UW’s block constantly snuffed out any chance Ohio State had of getting back into the match as well. Carter Booth had eight stuffs to lead all players with Anna Smrek (five) and Devyn Robinson (four) contributing as well.

While the Badgers found themselves down early in both the second and third sets, it never really seemed like the Buckeyes (4-8 overall, 1-2 B1G) posed much of a threat. The Badgers hit .316 (44 kills-13 errors-98 attempts) for the match, its eighth match this season over .300, and, on defense, out-blocked their opponent just like they have in every other match this year. OSU’s standout OH Emily Londot had a match-high 13 kills for the Bucks but she was not nearly enough for Ohio State to remain competitive.

Wisconsin Badgers Continue Hot Streak vs. Michigan

On Sunday afternoon, UW welcomed the Michigan Wolverines (2-11 overall, 0-4 B1G) to the Field House and this match went exactly how you’d expect if you only looked at the teams’ records beforehand. The Badgers swept Michigan aside, winning 25-13, 25-15, 25-14, on the same day that they honored the 2013 National Runners-up team between the second and third sets.

“Any time you have a coaching change, you have a choice, the players that are there, the recruits that are coming in, you’re either buying in or you’re not and they were all the way in. They worked hard, they worked together, and they trusted the staff. It raised the bar for themselves, for the coaching staff, and us today. There is so much from that group embedded into this program,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said of his first team at UW.

With those UW legends in the crowd, the current Badgers put on quite the show. Julia Orzol had 12 digs, the 12th time this season she’s reached double-figures, Izzy Ashburn notched her seventh double-double of the year (23 assists, 12 digs), and Temi Thomas-Ailara had 10 kills for the second match in a row.

Wisconsin held Michigan to a meager .109 hitting percentage (27 kills-16 errors-101 attempts) while hitting a season-high .416 (42-5-89) themselves. The Wolverines never had the lead at any point in the match and there were only four occasions where it was tied. The Badgers also continued their dominance at the net, out-blocking UM 11.0-3.0, led by CC Crawford’s six and Booth’s five.

After the match senior setter Izzy Ashburn was asked about what the return of the 2013 team meant and she offered up the advice that they gave to the current team, “They said yesterday, something about it’s an honor to be back here and hear him say 10 years ago that you’re going to be a team remembered in 10 years. If you want to be memorable and to come back in 10 years, do great things. Just thinking about that and what they’ve done for this program is incredible”

While the season isn’t even half over yet, the 2023 Badgers seem well on their way to accomplishing “great things” in Madison.

Up next: UW ventures back out on the road this week with a Wednesday night match at Iowa (7 p.m. CT, BTN) and then a Saturday evening tilt with Illinois (6 p.m. CT, B1G+).

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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