It was a freshman and a trio of juniors who sparked the fifth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team to its second straight win to open the season. The Badgers swept their second-straight opponent, downing North Carolina, 25-20, 25-13, 25-17, in the second round of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Freshman Izzy Ashburn keyed UW from the service line, scoring a career high four service aces. The 5-foot-11 setter scored eight straight points, including her first collegiate ace, in the first set to put the Badgers up 9-1. She added a second ace in the first set as well as one in the second set and another in the third set for her match high.
On the offensive end, junior Dana Rettke led Wisconsin in kills for the second straight match, putting away a match-high 18 kills. The 6-foot-8 middle blocker hit an impressive .727 (18 kills – 2 errors – 22 attempts) to lead UW to a .450 (54-9-100) team hitting percentage.
Junior Grace Loberg added 12 kills while hitting .458 (12-1-24) and junior Sydney Hilley put away six kills on 10 attempts with no errors. Hilley also put up 41 assists, running the Badger offense.
Senior Tiffany Clark had a match-high 12 digs as UW edged North Carolina 33-30 in saves.
The Badgers open their home season on Thursday-Friday, hosting the HotelRED Invitational in the UW Field House. Wisconsin takes on No. 16 Marquette on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Audio: Learfield/IMG College