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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Fall Sports Preview


First year head coach Kelly Sheffield has guided the Wisconsin volleyball team (6-0 overall) to a top 25 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll for the first time since 2008. UW is not the only Big Ten team found in the top 25, however, as the Badgers are joined by Penn State (3-1), Minnesota (7-0), Michigan (5-0), Nebraska (4-1), Ohio State (6-0), Illinois (3-2) and Purdue (3-2). The Nittany Lions, Golden Gophers and Wolverines are all ranked in the top 10.

Before becoming the Badgers’ 10th head coach, Sheffield coached Dayton for five years. Sheffield held his first coaching job at the University of Albany. After taking over the Dayton program, Sheffield turned the Flyers into one of the nation’s elite programs. He won four straight Atlantic 10 conference championships and made five straight NCAA appearances. Earning the 2012 AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year and the Athletic 10 Coach of the Year awards, Sheffield guided Dayton to the 2012 Atlantic 10 title with a perfect record of 14-0.

UW started off the season without losses in both the Pepperdine and North Dakota State Invitationals. Most notably, the Badgers took down No. 17-ranked Louisville to cap off their time in Fargo, N.D.  Junior outside hitter Courtney Thomas was named the MVP of the tournament. This was Thomas’ second MVP honor, as she also received the award following the Rhode Island Invitational during the 2011 season. Thomas was not the only Badger to receive honors following the North Dakota State Invitational—senior defensive specialist Annemarie Hickey and sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Morey were both named to the all-tournament team. It was Hickey’s second all-tournament honor.

The Badgers begin home play this upcoming weekend at the Field House with the InnTower Invitational. UW will host Kansas (7-0 overall), Milwaukee (3-3 overall) and Bowling Green (1-4 overall). Looking forward to Big Ten play, the Badgers open up their conference slate versus Purdue Sept. 27.

Men's Soccer

Led by head coach John Trask, the Badgers (2-0-1 overall) capped this past weekend off with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the DePaul Blue Demons. Although Wisconsin started the season off with a exhibition loss (2-1) at the hands of Illinois-Chicago, the Badgers have bounced back nicely, winning two out of their first three games this season.

UW has much to look forward to this year, as many impact players from last year’s team have returned to Wisconsin. The Badgers return 26 of 29 players from last year’s team. The defense looks to be a strong point for the Badgers, as senior captain Paul Yonga and 2012 Big Ten honoree AJ Cochran are back to anchor the unit this season. Additionally, sophomore defender Adam Lauko will benefit from having started his freshman year.

The Badgers also have a lot to look forward to on the offensive side of the ball with sophomore midfielder Drew Conner, a Big Ten All-Freshman team recipient, returning for the Badgers. UW also returns senior forward Chris Prince, who led the Badgers in scoring last season—with 11 points (three goals, five assists)—for the second time in three seasons.

Wisconsin will travel to South Florida (3-2) Thursday to take on the Bulls. UW begins Big Ten play Sept. 28 at Penn State (2-2). For the Badgers, the clear-cut goal will be to outlast the rest of their Big Ten foes and wind up in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game Nov. 17 in Columbus, Ohio.

Women's Soccer

The Wisconsin women’s soccer team started the year off strong with victories over Connecticut, Illinois State and Oregon, combining to outscore those opponents 9-4. The Badgers didn’t fare as well in their next three-game stretch, however, picking up just one win Wednesday over Loyola of Chicago. Led by head coach Paula Wilkins, the Badgers (4-1-1 overall) will look to build momentum in their final non-conference games before Big Ten play begins Sept. 22 at Purdue. Last season, UW posted a strong non-conference record of 6-1 before going 5-5-1 in conference play.

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Wilkins is entering her seventh year as the head coach and is nearing in on 200 wins. This past season, Wilkins guided the Badgers to an NCAA appearance, UW’s third in the last four seasons, and guided the team to 10 wins for the fourth straight year. Before coaching the Badgers, Wilkins guided Penn State to two College Cup appearances.

This year’s UW team is filled with youth, as 18 of 26 players are underclassmen and the roster features only two seniors. The Badgers are led this year by junior forward Cara Walls, who has accumulated quite a trophy case during her two years in Madison. After being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2011, Walls was voted to the 2012 second-team All-Big Ten team and was named UW’s Offensive Player of the Year.

While Wisconsin opens Big Ten play on the road at Purdue, the Badgers will not play their Big Ten home opener until Oct. 4 versus Penn State. UW will conclude its Big Ten and regular season slates at home Nov. 2, when Northwestern will travel to McClimon Complex.

Men's Cross Country

The Wisconsin men’s cross country team started off the season with a victory in the 6-kilometer Badger Open at Zimmer Championship course this past Friday.

UW ended last season in strong fashion, finishing second at the NCAA championship race. The Badgers opened the season ranked No. 7 in the nation.

Head coach Mick Bryne was named Director of Cross Country and Track and Field this past summer.

Bryne has led the men’s cross country team to five straight Big Ten championships and guided UW to the 2011 NCAA Championship.

By promoting Bryne, UW became the seventh Big Ten school to combine its women’s and men’s cross country and track programs.

This approach is gaining momentum among the top cross country programs in the nation, as eight of the top 10 men’s teams and nine out of the top 10 women’s teams at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships have combined their men’s and women’s programs.

Wisconsin finished last Friday’s race with a team score of 25 points.

Grabbing the top four spots in the race, the Badgers had a stranglehold on their opponents. Junior Jacob Erschen, redshirt freshman Malachy Schrobilgen, and seniors Jacob Naylor and Neal Berman crossed the finish line together, finishing with matching times of 18:18.

The Badgers have a long way back to the NCAA championships. The team’s next meets are Sept. 14 at the Sycamore Invitational and the Warhawk Invitational.

Looking ahead, the Big Ten Championship race is set for Nov. 11, while the NCAA championship will take place Nov. 23.

Women's Cross Country

The Wisconsin women’s cross country team also started this season on the right foot.

UW finished second at the Zimmer Championship course this past Friday.

Unfortunately for the Badgers, the only other Big Ten team in the race, Northwestern, finished first.

Last year, the Badgers earned four first-place finishes but finished eighth in the Big Ten Championship race with a total of 182 points, and UW ultimately failed to qualify for the NCAA Championship race.

Head coach Jim Stintzi, in his eighth year as the head man at Wisconsin, will need to rely on the youth on this year’s team.

In his time as head coach Stintzi has led the Badgers to four NCAA Championship medal finishes.

Junior Gabrielle Anzalone and sophomore Emma-Lisa Murphy appear to be UW’s leading runners this year.

Anzalone, the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, finished the race this past weekend seventh overall with a time of 14:25.

Last year’s Zimmer Championship course winner, Murphy finished ninth this past weekend with a time of 14:49.

Murphy and Anzalone were the only two Badgers to finish in the top 10, while senior Erin Cawley, redshirt sophomore Anne Gregory and senior Lavinia Jurkiewicz scored points for the Badgers, finishing 12th, 14th, and 15th respectively.

UW will travel to Whitewater, Wis., and Terre Haute, Ind., this upcoming weekend for the Warhawk and Sycamore Invitationals, respectively.

The Big Ten Championship is set for Nov. 3 at West Lafayette, Ind., while the NCAA National Championship race will be Nov. 23 at Terre Haute, Ind.

Men’s Tennis

Wisconsin Men’s Tennis Team (4-0) opened up the fall season strong in the Milwaukee Tennis Classic in Milwaukee Wis., beating Marquette, Air Force and Ball State for a tournament record of 21-6.

UW was led by senior Petr Satral, who finished the tournament undefeated in both singles and doubles play.

As a result of Wisconsin’s dominance, the team swept the all-tournament awards.

Satral earned Men’s Singles Champion while sophomore Alexander Kokorev earned runner-up.

The Badgers conference record of 4-7 paved the way for the squad’s disappointing overall record of 13-12 last year.

Their season came to a disappointing end in the Big Tournament, as the Badgers fell to Purdue 4-0.

Being the only senior on the team, Satral will be relied on by head coach Greg Van Emburgh to lead the Badgers.

Satral will be tasked with the job of guiding four sophomores and two freshmen.

Freshman John Zordani and Elliott Sprecher were able to hold their own this weekend, compiling solid records throughout the tournament.

Partnered with sophomore Frederik Strabo, Sprecher earned a 8-1 victory over Ball State on the last day of the tournament.

Zordani was able to dominate Marquette winning his matches 6-2 and 7-6.

UW doesn’t play again until Sept. 26 in the ITA-All Americans tournament in Tulsa, Okla.

Not until Feb. 1 do the Badgers open up their spring home season against Southern Illinois.

The ultimate goal for the Badgers is to be the last team standing at the Big Ten Tournament, which begins April 25.


The Women’s Softball Team (1-1) picked up the bats and gloves for the first time this weekend for an exhibition game against Loyola (1-1 overall) at the Goodman Diamond in Madison, WI.

The Badgers lost the first game of the double header 7-2 but were able to bounce back in the second game to pull out a 6-5 victory. Wisconsin is hoping to build off a strong 2012-’13 season in which they earned their best record, finishing with a 16-7 conference record and an overall record of 44-13. The Badgers fell to the No. 3 Oregon Ducks 3-0 in last year’s NCAA regional finale.

UW is led by senior infielders Stephanie Peace and pitcher Cassandra Darrah, who were selected to the 2012-’13 NCAA Tournament All-Regional team. They joined Andrea Kirchberg and Shannel Blackshear, who also earned the honor last year, as the only Badgers to earn such an accolade.

The Badgers are guided by third-year head coach Yvette Healy, who before coming to Wisconsin was the head coach at Loyola, where she led the Ramblers to the Horizon League Championship in 2007.

Healy took the Badgers to their third-consecutive 30 win season last year, marking the first time ever that Wisconsin has accomplished the feat three years in a row.

The Badgers won their first-ever Big Ten tournament title in 2013, with victories over Northwestern, No. 6 Michigan and Minnesota.

The Badgers return to the diamond on Sept. 28 against Illinois State. Exhibition games will end for Wisconsin Oct. 13 against UW-Parkside.

Men’s Golf

Following a disappointing 12Tournament, the Wisconsin Men’s Golf Team hopes to turn things around this upcoming season.

Head Coach Michael Burcin, entering his third year as the Badgers’ head coach, is aiming to lead the team to a strong start in the Wolf Run intercollegiate tournament in Zionsville, Ind. this weekend, the team’s first showing of the year.

Burcin was named the men’s golf coach on May 31, 2011 after seven years as head coach at South Carolina. Burcin, a former player at the University of Oregon, qualified for three NCAA championships and advanced to the final four twice.

In 2010 Burcin was voted the Golf Coaches Association of America’s Assistant Coach of the Year. While at South Carolina, Burcin lead the Gamecocks to six-straight NCAA regional appearance, including leading South Carolina to its first NCAA regional title in 2007.

Wisconsin added Robbie Ziegler to the coaching staff this past offseason, replacing Bryant Odom. Ziegler officially started his assistant coaching duties on August 19.

UW is led by senior John Gullberg and junior Thomas O’Bryan. O’Bryan and Gullberg finished tied for 49th in last year’s Big Ten Championship tournament with a score of plus 22.

Wisconsin starts their home campaign on Sept. 29 with the Badger Invitational at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wisc.

Women’s Tennis

The Wisconsin Women’s Tennis team opens up their fall season on Friday at the Minnesota Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Badgers are led this season by first-year head coach Tina Samara.

Before coming to Wisconsin, Samara was the head coach at West Virginia, leading the Mountaineers rebuilding process and recruiting two of the highest ranked players in school history.

As a player at Georgia, Samara earned All-America honors in both 1994 and 95.

In addition she guided the Bulldogs to their first NCAA title in 1994.

Tamara finalized her staff on Aug. 13 with the hiring of assistant coach Matt Manasse.

Manasse was a former team captain at Purdue and was hired away from the marketing department of Babolat USA.

The Badgers’ team is filled with youth this year, as redshirt sophomore Nova Patel is the most experienced on the team. The team’s youth, however, is not being seen as a reason to lower expectations.

“We are hoping that we will make it top five in the Big Ten at the end of the year,” freshman Sydney Rider said. “I think we all have a lot of room to improve, so we need to keep on working hard and keep on improving our game.”

UW opens its regular season home campaign Jan. 25 versus Milwaukee and is hoping to make it far in the Big Ten Tournament on April 24 in Evanston, Ill.

Women’s Golf

Wisconsin Women’s Golf Team opened up their season at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, SC. Sept. 8.

UW finished the tournament strong, with a great final round, to place 10th.

The tournament was filled with top-25 ranked opponents, including Florida, NC state, LSU and Baylor. Wisconsin was able to beat out both LSU and Baylor to prove it can hang with the best of the best.

Wisconsin was led by junior Kimberly Dinh and senior Kris Yoo. Dinh recorded a top-10 finish behind a career-low 54-hole score of 216.

Yoo wasn’t far behind, finishing 30th overall in the tournament with a composite score of 220.

Youth was also on display for the Badgers as freshman Brooke Ferrell finished third for Wisconsin with a total score of 233, which led her to finish 46th overall.

The Badgers are led by 10th year head coach Todd Oehrlein.

Before coming to Madison, Oehrlein was head coach at UW-Eau Claire.

He led the Blugolds to the 2001 NCAA Men’s Division III National Golf Championship. Most notably during his time at Wisconsin Oehrlein was voted the 2011 Co-Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Last year Oehrlein led UW to the best finish over the course of its two appearances at the NCAA Golf Championships.

Wisconsin finished 23rd in the tournament with a final composite score of 1218. This mark ranks fourth all-time in school history for a 72-hole tournament.

The Badgers pick up play again on Sept. 20 at the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greensville, SC.

The Big Ten Tournament is set to begin April 25 on the French Lick Resort Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind.

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