The third-ranked Wisconsin women’s volleyball team had a two-sets to one lead at second-ranked Minnesota but fell to the Gophers 25-22, 17-25, 25-11, 17-25, 8-15 in Minneapolis on Saturday night.
A Wisconsin (25-4 overall, 17-3 Big Ten) win would have given them a share of the Big Ten Championship with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers ended up winning the title outright by knockoff off Michigan.
“We gave it a heck of a run there,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Like I told our team, I think we showed how far we’ve come since the previous time that we played them and we can continue to get better.
After Minnesota tied the match at a set apiece, the Badgers came up with a dominating 25-11 third set win. They held the Gophers to their lowest point total of the season.
But the Gophers answered with a strong fourth set, winning 25-17 to force a fifth and deciding set.
The Gophers took control immediately and pulled away for a 15-8 win on Senior Night in Minnesota.
The Badgers now look ahead to the postseason, expecting to hear their name called when the NCAA volleyball championship bracket is announced on Sunday.
The 64-team bracket for the 2016 NCAA Volleyball Championship will be announced at 8 p.m. Sunday night on ESPNU.