Five Keys for Texas Volleyball to Beat Wisconsin in the Final Four

Evan Berkowitz

1. Keep an eye on Ellen Chapman

The junior from Ohio set the NCAA season records for kills. Freshman Chiaka Ogbogu and middle blockers Molly McCage and Khat Bell will be focused on her the whole match.

2. Be ready for the unexpected set

While much of the attention will be on Chapman, Wisconsin’s freshman setter Lauren Carlini is one of the best in the country at spreading the ball, earning her All-Big Ten and Big Ten Freshman of the year honors. She isn’t afraid to send it to any hitter at any time and will look to keep the Badger attack away from the Texas block. So while the Longhorns will be primarily focused on Chapman, they need to be ready for anything.

3. The outside hitters

Texas, led by junior All-American Haley Eckerman and last year’s tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Bailey Webster, is the stronger and more physical team. Senior setter Hannah Allison needs to feed the big hitters and let them hit it over the block. If Webster and Eckerman are on their game, the Badgers won’t be in the match for long

4. Eliminate Errors

The best way to keep an inferior team in the game is through errors. Texas has done a good job in the tournament thus far limiting their hitting errors, but the Longhorns’ service errors continue to pile up. Amy Neal and Haley Eckerman need to make sure they get the serves over the net while maintaining their effectiveness.

5. Win the service battle

When Texas passes well, they are nearly unbeatable. With a great serve receive game, there won’t be many rallies. Wisconsin is going to go for the tougher serves to keep the Texas attack off the net.