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Wisconsin ends #1 Cards pursuit of perfection in NCAA volleyball Final Four

UofL volleyball head coach Dani Busboom Kelly
UofL volleyball head coach Dani Busboom Kelly(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 11:44 PM EST
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(WAVE) - #4 Wisconsin held off #1, unbeaten UofL in a five set thriller in the NCAA volleyball Final Four on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio.

The Badgers took the first set 25-23. UofL bounced back with a dominant performance, winning set #2 25-15.

Wisconsin responded, powered by 6′9″ Anna Smrek, who had 20 kills in the match. The Badgers took the third set 25-21.

Providence High grad Ceci Rush delivered a service ace to finish off a 25-23 UofL win in the fourth set.

In the fifth and final set, Smrek smashed home the match winner as Wisconsin took the decider 15-9.

The Cards season ends at 32-1.

“Really tough moment, this is just a team that you could be with forever and there’s no burnout, there’s nobody tired of each other, it’s just one of those really special groups that you just never want it to end,” UofL head coach Dani Busboom Kelly said.

Busboom Kelly was named National Coach of the Year earlier in the day, and also received a contract extension and raise from UofL.

“The greatest gift they can give us seniors and taking this and taking to the next level next year or the year after,” Cards senior setter Tori Dilfer said. “That’ll be the greatest feeling ever is seeing this program do things that we didn’t do.”

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