Indiana volleyball is coming off a tough loss to No. 6 Ohio State Oct. 1, but its competition Wednesday won’t be much lighter. The Hoosiers will square off against defending-national champions No. 7 Wisconsin in Wilkinson Hall to round out a three-match home-stand.
With Indiana coming off a hard-fought 3-1 loss, the team has much to learn from the matchup.
“I really think starting on time,” sophomore outside hitter Mady Saris said. “We lost the first two sets but made a big comeback in the third. I think that was a big thing.”
The Badgers have an impressive resume, as they have gone to the Final Four three-straight years in a row, winning the national championship in their most recent trip. Wisconsin also possesses four Big Ten titles from the past decade.
Despite Indiana facing one of its tougher challenges this season, the Hoosiers’ preparation and gameday protocol remains the same.
“We take them as any other team,” Saris said. “Film, practice, implementing a game plan. We see what they do and implement it in our practice and back on our starting side.”
Wisconsin has defeated three ranked opponents this season: No. 24 Marquette University, No. 14 University of Kentucky and No. 9 Penn State. The most recent matchup was against Penn State on Sept. 30, where redshirt sophomore outside hitter Sarah Franklin accumulated her third double-double of the season.
In addition to Franklin, the Badgers also have freshman libero Gulce Gultekin from Istanbul, Turkey. Gultekin has proven to be one of the best freshmen in the conference, as she won Big Ten Freshman of the Week mid-September. She is the starting libero for the team and has played in all 29 sets this season, leading the team with 164 digs.
The last four times Indiana has faced Wisconsin, the Hoosiers have been swept straight by the Badgers. Still, Saris said she believes there is an advantage in playing the match at home.
“Our ball, our gym,” Saris said. “We practice in this gym every day. We know what it is like. We know how to serve. We know our court.”
Indiana is scheduled to face Wisconsin at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Wilkinson Hall. The match will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.