Badgers swept in Final Four to end undefeated campaign

Sports

Texas’ Asjia O’Neal, right, blocks a spike from Wisconsin’s Grace Loberg (21) in the first set during a semifinal in the NCAA women’s volleyball championships Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)

OMAHA, Neb. (WFRV) – Six sets from completing an undefeated season with a national title, the Wisconsin volleyball team fell just short on the big stage again.

Texas hit .301 as a team, Wisconsin squandered a big lead in the first set and the top-ranked Badgers bowed out of the NCAA Tournament with a 16-1 record.

It’s UW’s second straight trip to the national semifinals in volleyball. A year ago, the Badgers upset top-ranked Baylor to advance to the championship game. This year, against another Big 12 team, the result was not on their side.

Wisconsin led 20-16 in the first set after trailing much of the way. With the first game on the line, Texas’ Logan Eggelston (17 kills) notched three clutch kills in the final points to give the Longhorns the first set.

The Badgers trailed nearly the entire second set, hitting just .105 and falling 25-19.

In the third, Texas got out to another strong lead before Bucky battled back. A kill by Molly Haggerty gave Wisconsin its first lead of the set at 18-17 after trailing by as many as six.

But in a back and forth third set, Eggelston once again came through for the Longhorns. Officials overturned an attack error on the Longhorns, ruling it a touch on Wisconsin’s block, for the decisive point of the match.

UW finishes the season just short of the national championship game despite going wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country. The team had a lengthy pause with virus issues, but got off to a hot start in the NCAA Tournament with wins over Weber State, BYU and Florida.

Texas advances to play Kentucky in the national championship game.

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