Two straight in-conference losses left Wisconsin volleyball in a precarious situation, along with their hopes of retaining the Big Ten title. No. 7 Illinois then came to the UW Field House Wednesday night, and the Badgers seemed poised to take their knockout blow.The Badgers’ demise, as head coach Kelly Sheffield put it, had been greatly exaggerated.Through the graces of some foreign aid, by way of redshirt junior Romana Kriskova, Wisconsin staved off attack after attack from the Fighting Illini and took the match by a score of three sets to one.Kriskova, a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, the country’s capital city, has seen limited action in her time at Wisconsin thus far.A bicycle injury that left her with extensive knee troubles forced her to miss most of the 2014 season, but after a strong showing Wednesday night, the 6-foot-2 outside hitter seems poised to launch her comeback.“We went to her an awful lot,” Sheffield said. “I think people were able to see what we see in the gym. A player that’s really, really talented … She’s been patient with her coach as he’s trying to figure things out. I think everybody saw what she was capable of.”Kriskova’s saving grace for Wisconsin was also a test of her own limits.She connected on exactly half of her kill attempts and ended the night with 15 kills, a career high at Wisconsin. Three hitting errors pushed her attacking percentage down to .400 percent, the second best average among Wisconsin players on the night.“I tried to come out strong from the beginning and put pressure on the Illinois defense,” Kriskova said. “I was glad that Lauren trusted me. I feel awesome … like I’m getting better every day.”The chemistry building between Carlini and Kriskova adds to an already diversifying lineup of capable front-line players.Three Badgers who occupy front-line roles topped double-digits in successful kills during the match; Kriskova (15 kills), Haleigh Nelson (12 kills) and Lauryn Gillis (11 kills).Whether Kriskova’s performance is the product of a system that will continue to distribute kills amongst outside hitters is yet to be seen. Although her stat line and the praise garnered from her coaches point to the contrary.Yet even if her performance is systematic, a night in which she averaged five kills per set and the manner in which her kills came can’t be overlooked.Almost as if knowing her team needed a spark at certain times throughout the match, Kriskova delivered.One specific kill from Kriskova at the end of the second set halted a late run by Illinois, which had diminished the Badgers lead to two points and set momentum back in Wisconsin’s favor for what little remained of the set. The Badgers held on to take the set and then remained comfortable for most of the match thanks to that two-set lead.Kriskova said she was just happy to contribute and hopes to continue doing so.
The German now feels the move has not worked because European leagues have not followed suit.Boss Poch announced Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has agreed to accept his advice and back European alignment.Most Read In FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by Celtic LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Liverpool, Rangers vs Celtic and Arsenal vs Spurs scores this weekend and win £100Chelsea remain a stand-out in opposition to the move. The Blues’ stance is that clubs can simply say ‘No’ to potential suitors.Prem clubs can debate the issue at the first shareholders meeting of the 20 members on September 12.With a simple majority required, it is expected the matter will be formally put to a vote — with England getting in line with Europe.2 Jurgen Klopp was forced to bring in free agent Adrian when No1 Alisson got injuredCredit: Getty PREMIER LEAGUE clubs will have until September 1 to do their transfer business next summer.The about-turn comes after Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs agreed closing the window early simply had not worked.2 Mauricio Pochettino has been left struggling to maintain his star man Christian Eriksen’s focusCredit: Richard Pelham – The SunEuropean clubs had until yesterday to complete their squads for the new term.Prem sides’ window for registering players shut on August 8, one day before the season started.But August saw Mauricio Pochettino distracted by the Christian Eriksen saga at Spurs.And Liverpool had to bring in Adrian as an emergency back-up for injured keeper Alisson.FIVE OF BIG SIX AGREESo five of the Big Six are now supporting a return.Manchester United and City were outvoted in November after trying to put the Prem in line with Europe.Arsenal had pushed for the early window closure when Arsene Wenger was furious at losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool in 2017, two weeks into the season.CHELSEA GOING IT ALONEBut they have now changed their stance.Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was also initially in favour of the early closure.