Wisconsin Badgers volleyball senior outside hitter Sarah Franklin, a transfer from Michigan State, made her presence known this season as arguably one of the best hitters in not only the Big Ten but the entire nation.
Franklin averages 4.17 kills per set and is one of the highest scorers in the Big Ten. She is skilled at terminating from the outside, hitting at a percentage of .308 — an impressive number as an outside hitter, but even more so due to the fact she has done so against some of the best defenses in the country. Her high volleyball IQ and shot selection make it very hard to stop her as she is able to find the floor authoritatively time after time.
Alongside her dangerously terminal offensive ability, her ball control and defensive ability have been key to the Badgers’ success this season. Her blocking ability from the left pin frustrates and shuts down other teams. She has been a rock in serve receive all season as a solid, reliable passer. She is one of the team’s leaders in digs, moving with an agility that is almost remarkable at her height.
Franklin has only stepped up her play as the season’s gone on — over the course of a grueling Big Ten season, she managed to hit .330 and averaged 4.39 kills per set. She’s done this while carrying a large weight of the Badger offense on her shoulders, averaging more than twice the swings of anyone else on the team. But that hasn’t stopped her as she continues to find success — being recently named Big Ten Player of the Week for the third time this season and is easily a top choice for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Franklin has been the hot hand for the Badgers numerous times this season and will continue to be their go-to player as they enter the NCAA Tournament this weekend. She was a crucial part to them earning the No. 3 overall seed and will very likely help lead this team deep into the tournament.