The Wisconsin Badgers women’s volleyball team is one of the most successful and dominant programs in the NCAA Division I. The team has won two national championships, and 17 conference titles, and made 24 appearances in the NCAA tournament, including nine in the Final Four. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and has a perfect 16-0 record in the 2021 season. Here are some of the reasons why the Wisconsin volleyball team is a force to reckon with.
Talented and Experienced Roster
The Wisconsin volleyball team boasts a talented and experienced roster that features several All-Americans, national award winners, and Olympic hopefuls. The team is led by senior setter Sydney Reed, who is the reigning Big Ten Setter of the Year and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Reed is averaging 11.6 assists per set and has guided the Badgers to a .333 hitting percentage, the second-best in the nation.
The team also has a formidable front line that includes senior middle blocker Devyn Robinson, who is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year and a finalist for the Honda Sport Award. Robinson is hitting .467, the third-best in the nation, and leads the team with 1.3 blocks per set. She is joined by senior outside hitter Sarah Franklin, who is the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a finalist for the AVCA National Freshman of the Year. Franklin leads the team with 4.2 kills per set and has recorded 10 double-doubles this season.
The team also has a solid back row that features senior libero Joslyn Boyer, who is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Elite 90 Award. Boyer is averaging 4.8 digs per set and has anchored the Badgers’ defense that ranks fourth in the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.140). She is joined by sophomore defensive specialist Gülce Güçtekin, who is a transfer from Turkey and has made an immediate impact with her serve and passing skills.
Experienced and Successful Coaching Staff
The Wisconsin volleyball team also benefits from having an experienced and successful coaching staff that has led the program to new heights. The head coach is Kelly Sheffield, who is in his ninth season at Wisconsin and has a record of 236-49 (.828). Sheffield has led the Badgers to two national championship appearances, six Big Ten titles, and eight NCAA tournament berths. He has also been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year four times and the AVCA National Coach of the Year once.
The associate head coach is Brittany Dildine, who is in her ninth season at Wisconsin and has been instrumental in recruiting, scouting, and developing players. Dildine has helped produce 18 All-Americans, 10 national award winners, and six Olympians at Wisconsin. She has also been named the AVCA Assistant Coach of the Year twice.
The other associate head coach is Gary White, who is in his fifth season at Wisconsin and has been responsible for coaching the setters, coordinating the offense, and analyzing video. White has helped improve the Badgers’ setting efficiency, hitting percentage, and offensive balance. He has also been named the AVCA Assistant Coach of the Year once.
The assistant coach is Annemarie Hickey, who is in her third season at Wisconsin and has been in charge of coaching the liberos, overseeing the defense, and managing travel logistics. Hickey has helped enhance the Badgers’ digging, serving, and passing skills. She has also been a mentor for the players as a former All-American libero at Wisconsin.
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Strong Support System
The Wisconsin volleyball team also enjoys a strong support system that includes dedicated staff members, loyal fans, and generous donors. The team has access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and technology that help them train, compete, and recover at an optimal level. The team also has access to academic services, mental health resources, nutrition counseling, and career development programs that help them excel on and off the court.
The team also has a passionate fan base that fills up the UW Field House with red and white every home match. The team averages over 7,000 fans per match, which ranks among the top five in attendance in the nation. The team also receives donations from alumni, supporters, and sponsors that help fund scholarships, travel expenses, and facility upgrades.
The Wisconsin volleyball team is a force to reckon with because of its talented and experienced roster, its experienced and successful coaching staff, and its strong support system. The team has achieved remarkable results in the past and has high expectations for the future. The team is aiming to win its third national championship this year and continue its legacy of excellence in women’s volleyball.