first_imgKRIS UGARRIZA/Herald file photoThe Wisconsin volleyball team will host Northwestern at the Field House Wednesday, when UW will be looking to put a halt to a four-match losing streak in the Big Ten.The Badgers (14-8, Big Ten 4-6) are eager to get back on the court after losing to Indiana and No. 1 Penn State last weekend.“It is all about improved teamwork,” senior captain Audra Jeffers said. “We need to bring it in and say that no matter what happens, we have to come together and we will keep fighting. We are a much better team than what we have shown the last couple matches, and we all know that. It comes down to heart and fight, and that will build up confidence.”While UW’s losing streak stems from several faults, an inconsistent offense remains the team’s biggest problem. The Badgers hit a paltry .146 against the Indiana Hoosiers last Sunday and posted a .133 percentage against the top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions the previous match.“It all comes down to being aggressive,” Jeffers said. “Unforced errors happen when you are not being aggressive. You can’t go up there and take a tentative swing, because that is when you hit it out of bounds. It all comes down to mindset and being mentally tough.”The Badgers have experienced some success against the Wildcats (7-14, Big Ten 1-9) already this season, beating NU in four sets on the road at the Welsh-Ryan Arena. UW hopes their past success will help them break out of this recent funk.“We kind of know what they bring to the table so we are really excited to play them again,” junior Brittney Dolgner said. “We want another chance to show the Field House and the fans what we are made of. We are coming off a couple losing games, so hopefully we can turn it around.”The Wildcats are led by their middle blockers Chelsy Hyser and Sabel Moffett. Because NU runs an offense that utilizes quick sets to the middle, Moffett and Hyser rank one and two on the team in kills and hitting percentage.“I think we did a nice job on their middles,” Jeffers said. “But I think their outsides did really well against us. We just worked on that a little bit today, and we want to play them better than we did last time. We just need to play a little more crisp.”Head coach Pete Waite substituted liberally against Indiana last match, trying to find players who could produce, but it remains unclear whether the Badgers will try that strategy again.“At this point we have no idea,” Dolgner said. “We had a practice yesterday where we tried a bunch of different lineups, and we don’t really know what to expect. I guess we will have to see at the game.”The Badgers are emphasizing an aggressive approach for all areas of the game. Both the coaching staff and players feel the team’s slipups can be attributed to tentative play.“We just have to go after it,” Dolgner said. “You can’t be tentative about things. You just have to go up there and play with all you’ve got. You can’t think about it; you just have to go do it.”last_img