IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Wisconsin volleyball team may not have been at its best here Friday night, but it was still plenty good enough.

Freshman Dana Rettke had 12 kills and the No. 7 Badgers hit .402 as a team as they swept Iowa 25-17, 25-22, 25-17 before a crowd of 2,169 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“It’s probably not too often that you hit .400 against a Big Ten team and say I’m not sure we played very well tonight,” UW coach Kelly Sheffield said. “I’m not sure that either team particularly played real well. But there are no bad wins on the road. I thought offensively we were pretty good, just uneven.”

Sheffield said his team’s communication was off at times and he was troubled by the Badgers’ season-high 14 service errors.

But they made up for those issues with an efficient offense that produced 44 kills with just five hitting errors.

Rettke, the 6-foot-8 middle blocker, led the way with 12 kills and no errors, hitting .600 against an overmatched Iowa defense.

“Fortunately, we’re not having to game plan against 6-8,” Sheffield said. “We had a little bit of a size advantage up there with her and the blockers but she was working hard to get open and she was getting into the gaps of the block.”

The Badgers (11-1, 2-1 Big Ten) also got eight kills from senior Lauryn Gillis, seven from redshirt sophomore Madison Duello and six from senior Kelli Bates.

Freshman setter Sydney Hilley had four kills to go along with her 34 assists. Three of those kills came in the first set.

“I’d like to see her attack more,” Sheffield said. “She’s very effective at it. She attacks at a high percentage. I think a lot of times she forgets about that, which is odd because she was a hitter in high school. We have to keep reminding her to be an offensive threat because it certainly helps everybody else if she is.”

The Hawkeyes (12-4, 1-2) were led by junior Taylor Louis, a transfer from Marquette, with 12 kills.

The Badgers outblocked the Hawkeyes 8-1 and held them to a .090 hitting percentage, the sixth opponent to hit below .100 this season.

Wisconsin 25 25 25

Iowa 17 22 17

WISCONSIN (kills-digs-blocks) — Rettke 12-2-4, Gillis 8-1-3, Duello 7-0-1, Bates 6-8-2, Hilley 4-7-2, Williams 4-0-4, Loberg 3-1-0, Bell 0-0-0, MacDonald 0-1-0, Dodd 0-1-0, Clark 0-11-0, Dodge 0-2-0. Totals 44-35-8.

IOWA (kills-digs-blocks) — Louis 12-8-0, Janota 6-1-1, Sheehan 5-11-0, Orr 3-4-1, Coyle 3-0-0, O’Neill 2-0-0, Smith 0-5-0, Johnston 0-1-0, Olsen 0-12-0, Alm 0-1-0. Totals 31-43-1.

Hitting percentage — W .402, I .090. Aces — W 2 (Rettke, Duello), I 3 (Louis, Janota, Sheehan). Assists — W 41 (Hilley 34), I 30 (Orr 24). Att. — 2,169.


Dennis Punzel covers Wisconsin Badgers volleyball, women's basketball for the Wisconsin State Journal.