For the past several years, the Wisconsin volleyball program has served as a remarkable testament to the value of assembling a roster rich with experience and leadership.
Playing three matches over the course of just two days, No. 6 Wisconsin (5-0) turned what easily could have been a tumultuous and tiresome road trip into an impressive display of dominance, picking up sound victories over Syracuse, Arkansas and Kansas State to capture the championship in the K-State Invitational this weekend. The Badgers opened their 2017 road campaign by traveling to Kansas and competing in a rare doubleheader.
After Friday night’s performance in the UW Fieldhouse, all four teams in the annual Big 10/ACC Challenge had limited time to rest up and prepare for their opponent Saturday night.
Following an offseason rife with roster turnover and personnel change, the Wisconsin Badgers arrived at the UW Field House Friday night in its opening match of 2017 looking quite different than it had a year ago. Despite adding eight players over the summer, seven of whom are freshmen, the reconfigured, seventh-ranked Badgers (1-0) appeared to have little trouble finding their footing on the floor, sweeping the Louisville Cardinals (0-1) by a score of 25-18, 25-19, 26-24 in the first round of the annual Big Ten/ACC challenge. For a team comprised of thirteen underclassmen, the fate of the Badgers’ season will largely rest in the hands of players who have yet to prove themselves at the collegiate level. But if Friday’s victory over Louisville serves as any indication of things to come, head coach Kelly Sheffield’s team should fare just fine.
In early April, Lauren Carlini stepped under the bright lights of the Big Apple and took a seat atop the stage inside the storied New York Athletic Club, utterly unprepared for the historic moment she would soon experience. Among some of the finest amatuer athletes in the world, the former Wisconsin setter felt exceedingly privileged to receive recognition as a finalist for the AAU James E.
Men's Basketball: Hayes delivers dagger into Nova's repeat bid With 20.3 seconds remaining and the No. 8 seed Badgers tied 62-62 against the No. 1 overall seed Villanova Wildcats, Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard called a timeout, looking to draw up the most important set piece of the Badgers’ season.
Midway through the first half of the Badgers’ November matchup with Chicago State, D’Mitrik Trice buried a three and pounded his chest in celebration.
On Monday night, four Wisconsin student-athletes added to their seemingly never-ending lists of accolades earning with the highest honors one can receive as a Badger athlete at the Buckingham’s.
As the Badgers trotted off the court and into the locker room at the end of the second set of the regional final match Saturday night, the fans who filled the seats in the Field House roared with excitement, feeling the dream of a Final Four berth slowing becoming a reality. Three sets later, the raucous atmosphere inside the Field House had been replaced with sobering silence, as the thousands of fans who once seemed so confident in their team struggled to come to grips with what they just witnessed.
Two teams extremely familiar with each other fought until the very end in a Sweet 16 match for the ages that had one team screaming for joy after a comeback. The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 28-4 overall) took on Ohio State (10-10, 22-12) for the third time this season, in a match that was very different from the first two meetings.
After putting together one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, the 2016 Wisconsin Badgers is a team well-versed in the art of record-breaking. While this group of Wisconsin players is hailed for achievements like earning the highest postseason seed ever, the Wisconsin fanbase has made some history in its own right, shattering the average attendance for home matches this year. But now, much like he does with his own team, head coach Kelly Sheffield is trying to give Badgers’ fans some extra motivation to make the proverbial postseason push. During his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Sheffield made the announcement that he and his wife would donate up to 1,000 tickets to Wisconsin students for the upcoming regional final match against Ohio State at the Field House.
Midway through the third set of a win over Washington State last Friday, Wisconsin senior captain Haleigh Nelson hustled up to the frontline and let her instincts take over.
Ohio State Buckeyes Coming off of a loss to Indiana on Nov. 5, their third in four games, Ohio State’s chances of making a third-consecutive Sweet 16 appeared slim.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the first two rounds of the 2016 NCAA tournament, it is that Wisconsin’s defense succumbs to no one. One night after holding its first round opponent Howard to an abysmal .050 hitting percentage in a winning effort Thursday at home, Wisconsin’s defense continued to dominate, as the No. 3-seeded Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 28-4 overall) dismantled the Washington State Cougars (12-9 Pac-12, 22-13 overall) in a 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 sweep at the Field House Friday night. Wisconsin stymied Washington State from top to bottom, shutting the Cougars down at every turn.
The Badgers were all business Thursday night, as they treated their fans to a dominating performance in the first round of the NCAA Tourney.
The Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 25-4 overall) are headed to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed, the highest seeding in program history, behind the coaching of Kelly Sheffield and the leadership of senior Lauren Carlini. The two came to Madison at the same time back in 2013 and led the team to a national championship appearance, and they hope to one-up that accomplishment with a national title in their final year together.
As the 2016 regular season winds down and the NCAA Tournament looms near, the Wisconsin Badgers are playing about as well as they could have hoped. After earning a pair of resounding wins at home this past weekend, Wisconsin (16-2 Big Ten, 24-3 overall) heads into its regular season finale on a tear.
The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (14-2 Big Ten, 22-3 overall) have another grueling weekend ahead of them as they will take on No. 18 Michigan (10-6, 21-7) and No. 13 Michigan State (12-4, 23-5) at the UW Field House. If Wisconsin is to extend its win streak over the weekend, the defense will need to be on the top of its game.
With a tough five-set victory over Purdue that extended the UW volleyball team’s win streak to five straight matches, No. 3 Wisconsin (12-2 Big Ten, 20-3 overall) appears to be hitting its stride just as the end of the regular season approaches. This weekend, the Badgers will hit the road and venture across the border to take on Illinois (7-7, 14-11) Friday night and then head to Evanston to face Northwestern (1-13, 8-18) Saturday night. Just over three weeks ago, Illinois was ranked inside the top 25 and sported a 7-2 conference record.
When Amber MacDonald made her Wisconsin debut in the fall of 2015, it not only signified the start of her college volleyball career, but also put an end to the whirlwind journey which came before it. Born and raised in Alpharetta, Ga., the Badgers’ defensive specialist/libero first expressed interest in UW during her sophomore year of high school, when she took a trip to watch the Badgers in the 2013 Final Four in Seattle.