The Gophers volleyball team traded punches with Wisconsin on Sunday before losing in five sets in a top-10 matchup at the Maturi Pavilion before an announced crowd of 5,700.
The Gophers gave the Badgers just their third five-set match of the season, and three of the sets went to extra points.
Minnesota (17-8 overall, 12-5 Big Ten) won the first and third sets 26-24 and 27-25, and the Badgers (23-3, 15-3) took the second and fourth 25-19 and 28-26 before winning the fifth 15-12.
The Gophers led the entire fourth set and had three match points before Wisconsin rallied and went on to beat its border rivals for the fifth time in a row.
"I think the difference was just a play or two here in terms of coverage, a dig, or an out-of-system swing," Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "It's a game of inches. To Wisconsin's credit, they served well and played a clean game."
Stephanie Samedy, who will go down as one of the Gophers' all-time greats, had 31 kills and 20 digs in her final regular-season home match.
In the fifth set, the Gophers rallied to tie the score at 6-6 before the Badgers went on a 4-0 run behind two kills by Grace Loberg. Minnesota pulled with a point, 13-12, before Wisconsin closed it out.
Dana Rettke led Wisconsin with 21 kills. Sydney Hilley, from Champlin Park High School, had 65 assists and 16 digs.
"This was just an epic volleyball match. … It was two teams that were balling out," Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield said. "Had we been on the losing side, I would not change anything about the match. The locker room is just more fun right now."
The Badgers now turn their focus to another heavyweight matchup on Friday, when they host Nebraska. The two teams are tied for first place in the Big Ten.
The Gophers are tied for fourth and have matches remaining against Penn State and Maryland, both on the road, on Friday and Saturday.
The NCAA tournament selection show is Sunday.