MADISON, Wis. - The Drake University volleyball team lost to Wisconsin University 3-0 Friday night in its first match of the 2012 InnTowner Invitational. The Badgers won by scores of 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 to improve their overall record to 6-1 and the loss drops the Bulldogs to 0-7 this season.
Senior outside hitter Bentley Mancini (Burnsville, Minn.) led the Bulldogs with nine kills and a .368 hitting percentage. Mancini has 28 kills in her last three matches. Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) and Rebecca Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) each had 10 assists to pace the Blue and White. Erin Roggenburg (Ankeny, Iowa) added eight kills and five digs for the Bulldogs.
"We were down tonight but we once again pushed back and continued to run our offense and we blocked and dug with them," head coach Tony Sunga commented. "We have been competitive all the up till the 17-18 point in each of our sets this season, including tonight but we have to find a way to push through and win some."
In set one Drake held a 10-9 lead after an attack error by the Badgers. The Badgers pulled away with a 9-3 run, the last point on back-to-back service aces by Ellen Chapman. Wisconsin won the set with a kill by Alexis Mitchell.
Drake raced to a 5-2 lead after a kill by Mancini in set two and the two teams traded points after. The Bulldogs held a 16-14 lead after a kill by Katie Dulek (Lenexa, Kan.), but the Badgers closed the set with an 11-1 run. Mancini finished with four kills in the set.
The young Bulldogs held a 7-6 lead in set three after a block assist by Dulek and Amanda Platte (Mount Vernon, Iowa). Drake continued to battle in the set never trailing by more than three points until the Badgers pulled away with a 6-3 run to take the set, 25-19 and the match.
Senior defensive specialist Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) posted ten digs, three kills and three service aces. The Bulldogs had five team service aces.
"The team is hungry and ready to get back out tomorrow and face two good opponents in Milwaukee and North Dakota State," Sunga said. "I think the quick turnaround is going to be positive for us."
Drake will be back in action tomorrow morning with a 10 a.m. match against Wisconsin Milwaukee. The Bulldogs will conclude the tournament with a 5:00 p.m. match against North Dakota State. North Dakota State won a five-set thriller tonight over Wisconsin Milwaukee.