University of Wisconsin volleyball head coach Pete Waite is just glad it’s over.Wisconsin wrapped up the spring season Friday with a four-game sweep over Marquette (30-24, 30-16, 30-25, 30-22). For Waite, this spring has been difficult, with several injuries and illnesses affecting his roster.”It’s been a tough spring,” Waite said. “Almost every day somebody else has been down with an injury.”It’s hard to even practice because you don’t have the same bodies out there all the time,” he added.Friday was no different. Caity DuPont, Audra Jeffers, Faye McCormack and Taylor Reineke sat out the match, leaving the Badgers with only nine available players. With UW’s short roster, a number of players were forced to play out of position. Jocelyn Wack, Wisconsin’s starting libero, played in the back row while Megan Mills, a defensive specialist, took Wack’s spot. Also, middle blocker Katherine Dykstra played at outside hitter.The move didn’t seem to affect Dykstra’s numbers, as she finished with 12 kills and a .733 hitting percentage. However, she was out of position at times when playing the new position, allowing some balls to drop for kills.”She’s still learning the right-side hitting,” Waite said. “But she improved and she got some big blocks for us, and her hitting attack has been very good. She’s improving all the time and getting more confident out there.”Wisconsin also tweaked its lineup during the match as redshirt freshman Nikki Klingsporn came in to play setter, moving starter Jackie Simpson to the outside. Klingsporn finished with a team-high 22 assists while Simpson recorded two kills on the night.While Waite said he made the move primarily because Simpson wanted to get some hits in, he didn’t reject the notion of going to a two-setter lineup in the regular season.”You never know [if] you run a 6-2 offense,” Waite said. “If they can both hit and we get a big block in for Nikki, then we can do some good things.”Marquette’s Ashlee Fischer had a match-high 18 kills, but it wasn’t enough to put the Golden Eagles in position to win any game. In Game 1, the Badgers used five- and four-point runs to jump out to an 18-10 lead and win 30-24. Wisconsin would obtain an 18-10 lead again in Game 2 before winning 30-16.Game 3 was a bit closer with the score knotted up 17-16, but two Klingsporn service aces allowed UW to go on a 5-0 run and win 30-25.Fischer did all she could to help Marquette win the final game, notching seven kills, but Wisconsin came out on top 30-22 for the sweep.Brittney Dolgner led Wisconsin with 16 kills.With the spring season now over, Wisconsin now prepares for a trip to Europe after the school year. Before the Badgers travel to the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy to play international teams, Waite simply hopes his team can become healthy.”The team has hung in there, and this is what we’ve been aiming for,” Waite said. “We want to be even healthier for that, and so hopefully, we’ll get a few more people back on the court.”
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