The University of Wisconsin volleyball team is one of the most experienced teams in the country. But the Badgers might have one of the best freshman classes as well.
That youth was on display Saturday night as freshmen Lauren Jardine, Anna Smrek and Julia Orzol led the No.2 Badgers to a dominant sweep 25-16, 25-11, 25-18 from northern Illinois to DeKalb, Illinois.
Jardine, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Highland, Utah, led the way with 14 kills with a single error, reaching 0.565. Smrek, in her second game over injured Danielle Hart, added eight kills and hit 0.764 for the weekend. And Orzol, back this weekend after missing two weeks with injury, has eight kills, nine digs and three aces on serve.
âThere’s been a lot of talk about the experience that we are a team,â said coach Kelly Sheffield in his post-match radio interview. “We had a lot of young children there, a lot of them.”
Jardine, who entered the game 0.077 in limited action, increased that mark to 0.389 as she replaced graduate student Grace Loberg. She did this by varying her shots as the match progressed.
âIt really depends on their defense against us,â Jardine said. âMoving the ball is part of the game and being able to place it in different places and kill is what we are focusing on. “