The original No. 1 in Wisconsin played an outstanding pass and pass game to sweep BYU in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.
Wisconsin won in a dominant fashion with 3: 0 (25-20, 25-17 and 25-12), causing the violation of BYU to balance the whole match with accurate serves and exceptional shots from the 6-foot 8-American Dana Retke.
The victory led the undefeated Dams (15-0) to the regional championship against Sunday’s winner in Ohio and Florida. BYU finished the season with a 17-2 record, with Wisconsin snatching the Cougars̵
BYU coach Heather Olmsted said her team has moved from one of the highlights of the season after beating UCLA in the region to one of the lowest levels since losing to Wisconsin, “but I’m really proud of what this team has achieved and how they grew up they loved each other. “
Olmsted said BYU’s best chances of upsetting the top seed were in service production and forcing Wisconsin to play outside their system, but that service pressure didn’t happen and the Badgers played in their system throughout the game, making it makes it very difficult.
“We knew we had to serve harder than we did and then we had to move on,” Olmsted said. “We knew they were a good serving team and we had to pass, so it was insulting that we had to attack better and then in defense, to keep them. I mean, they hit over .300 and that’s their MO
“We had to do a lot of things, serve hard, try to keep them offensive. I think we did it early. I thought we had some good touches. I thought we came across them early and upset them a little earlier in the first set. We were doing our job and we knew our tasks and we had some decent touches, slowing them down. “
BYU had a chance to put pressure in the first set, which was close, but service errors killed a late rally.
Wisconsin survived all night with timely excavations that Cougar’s attackers must have written the killings. Olmsted said she would have to watch the film to see exactly what happened in sets that her team had to score, but no, as Wisconsin often attacks BYU’s second line and puts pressure on her defense.
“I don’t know if we were trying to avoid their block or to bypass their block or not to hit their block, but yes, it’s a shame when we went around their block in defense, they were there. They got good touches. We tried to take bold swings and kill. They just didn’t fall down.
“A lot of them were because we were out of the system and it’s really hard to score out of the system, and then you put a big block in front of you and really good defenders behind it and you’re going to fight. Glory to them. I thought they were playing well. ”
Olmsted will return all his players next season and will add more to the list.
“Our goal is to win the conference championship and win the NCAA,” she said.
Olmsted asked his team to take the time to let the season take over. They had not lost a game since March in a one-of-a-kind spring season due to COVID-19, which broke the regular autumn schedule.
“We just took some time to evaluate the year. It’s never fun to feel that way. I am extremely proud of this group. I saw a lot, a lot, a lot of growth just throughout 2020 to 2021 until this season, a lot of growth from this group and more love, so much love, a lot of love developed in this team for each other, for BYU, for volleyball, for so many different things.
“So we talked about the year and what wild driving was like, just appreciating all those moments and letting them feel that you know what it feels like.”