On a night when the points came almost too easily, it was the one that came the hardest that was the most memorable for the University of Wisconsin volleyball team.
The No. 3 Badgers played perhaps their best all-around match of the season in steamrolling No. 17 Ohio State 25-16, 25-19, 25-17 in the Big Ten Conference opener Friday night before a sellout crowd of 6,012 at the UW Field House.
There was much for those fans to like as the Badgers (9-1, 1-0 Big Ten) were efficient on offense, dominant at the net and feisty in the back defensively.
But the play that got the Field House buzzing was a spectacular point early in the third set, with the Badgers making one acrobatic dig after another before setter Lauren Carlini finally put away the winner. That sent the crowd into a tizzy that continued well into the next point.
“It was so loud that I almost couldn’t hear anything because everyone was just screaming,” junior Kelli Bates said. “It was so crazy.”
At the same time, what struck Carlini was that the Badgers didn’t lose their heads in the excitement.
“When people are scrapping really hard and our side is battling, their side is battling, no matter who wins that point they’re going to get the momentum,” Carlini said. “It shifts the momentum whether you like it or not….