Heartbreak spread throughout the University of Wisconsin Field House Wednesday as a long-awaited rematch against No.3 Penn State resulted in the Nittany Lions sweeping No.5 Wisconsin in straight sets, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22.Last December, Penn State defeated Wisconsin in the 2013 National Championship match 3-1, winning their fifth championship in seven years. Since then, both teams have studied one another in preparation for this rematch, and it was especially apparent for the Nittany Lions.The first set began in favor of the Badgers with a missed serve from Penn State’s setter, senior Micha Hancock. However, the Nittany Lions sided out on the very next play and proceeded to tally two more points off of kills from both outside hitters junior Megan Courtney and freshman Simone Lee.It was a tug-and-pull battle until an intense rally between the two teams resulted in a Penn State point, which spurred them on to rattle off four points in a row, forcing Wisconsin to call a timeout at a score of 4-9.Serving went back and forth, but Penn State remained the leader for the majority of the first set until a kill by senior outside hitter Ellen Chapman sparked some life into the Wisconsin offense. The Badgers never came within five points of Penn State for the remainder of the set, losing 25-17.Set two picked up right where set one left off. The Badgers allowed Penn State four points, three of which were errors at the net by three different Wisconsin players. This caused Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield to use his first timeout early.Wisconsin spent the rest of the second set playing catch up, until a series of net plays and serving runs by the Badgers began to creep up on the Nittany Lions. A serving run by Wisconsin setter sophomore Lauren Carlini, combined with an intense kill by Chapman, brought the home crowd to its feet with a tie score of 17-17.The tie did not last long, as Penn State’s outside hitter Courtney served for six points to put the Nittany Lions up 23-17. The six-point run consisted of a culmination of accuracy and precision by Penn State’s hitters and errors by Wisconsin.All hope seemed to be lost for the Badgers until a kill by middle blocker, sophomore Haleigh Nelson, gave UW a point from a key side out. A kill by the outside hitter freshman Kelli Bates from the left side, followed by an attacking error by Penn State’s Courtney, seemed to keep hope alive at a score of 24-21 in favor of the Nittany Lions. But on the next play, outside hitter freshman Ali Frantti cranked a ball off of a Wisconsin block, ending the second set with a score of 25-21 for Penn State. Frantti went on to lead her team and tie her teammate Hancock with nine total kills for the match.Wisconsin came out strong and aggressive in the third set. Chapman began the match with a kill that gave the Badgers some momentum. The next two points belonged to Nelson on two kills of her own, giving the Badgers their largest lead of the entire match, since Hancock’s missed serve at the beginning of the match.The next few plays consisted of long rallies with incredible saves by both teams, causing a steady trade-off of one point a piece. Bates then made a hitting error, which tied the game at six. Immediately after her mistake, Bates pummeled an untouchable ball in the dead center of the court. She finished the match with nine kills, but with an unlikely seven errors, resulting in a .077 hitting percentage for the evening. Many of those errors were blocks by Penn State.“They’re a really solid team from all cylinders,” Bates said. “So I think it’s good to get good competition right off the bat for Big Ten season. We just have to get better.”The Badgers held a close lead in the third set until Frantti smashed down three kills in a row, accompanied by a well-executed tip by Hancock. This gave Penn State the lead for the first time in the set with the score 10-9.After a timeout from Wisconsin, Chapman became the shining star for the offense squashing three kills in just four points, accompanied by a combined block from her teammates, senior outside hitter Courtney Thomas and Nelson, to tie the game for the third time at 12-12. Chapman led the Badgers with 13 kills on Wednesday. However, it was not enough to push the Badgers to a victory.A kill by outside hitter redshirt junior Aiyana Whitney put Penn State ahead 17-16, and Wisconsin never regained the lead again. The third set ended in a tight score of 25-22.“[Penn State was] just better,” Sheffield said. “When we tied it up, they executed. They executed every time we got close.”Penn State seemed to strategically stay away from Wisconsin’s back row star and libero, junior Taylor Morey. Morey ended the game with only nine digs, when she came in averaging 5.56 per set which is the most in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions also shut down Wisconsin’s strongest all-around player in Thomas, who had just one kill.“They were focused in on shutting down the attack back behind,” Sheffield said. “So our slides, and Courtney [Thomas] on that side of the court; they were very determined to do that.”Although this was a difficult loss for the Badgers, the team still exists Wednesday’s match with an overall record of 9-2 and much of the Big Ten season left to play. If Wisconsin continues to improve there may be another Penn State rematch in store for them this season in postseason play.