11Jenny Maastricht had a career-high 37 kills as sixth-ranked Wisconsin defeated seventh-ranked Minnesota, 15-12, 15-4, 12-15, 15-10, before 5,392 fans at the Wisconsin Fieldhouse. The Badgers (21-2, 11-1 Big Ten) complete a season sweep of the Gophers (21-2, 10-2 Big Ten) and take a one-match lead over Minnesota and Ohio State in the Big Ten standings.
"We got beat by a better team tonight," said Minnesota coach Mike Hebert. "I think both teams played really hard. Wisconsin just dug a few more balls and played a little better at the key points of the match.
Nicole Branagh led Minnesota with 25 kills and 18 digs, while Charnette Fair added 17 kills and contributed a season-high 10 blocks. Stephanie Hagen was limited to 13 kills and a .186 hitting percentage. Sherisa Livingston blasted 24 kills at a .333 hitting percentage and led the Badgers with eight blocks.
Wisconsin held a 118-73 edge in digs, setting a Minnesota opponent record for a four-game match. Minnesota held a 17-15 advantage in blocks, but committed 20 service errors with only four service aces. Wisconsin had a .270-.184 advantage in hitting percentage and a 95-72 lead in kills.
The fourth game featured six ties, the last at 10-10. Minnesota rallied from a 7-6 deficit with four points on the serve of Lindsey Berg to take a 10-7 lead. Wisconsin scored the final eight points of the match to win, 15-10. Maastricht had 11 kills at a .526 hitting percentage, and Livingston had seven kills at a .500 hitting percentage.
Minnesota returns to the Sports Pavilion to play Indiana on Friday at 7 p.m.