A week ago, four Wisconsin recruits were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour All-America teams. On Wednesday, those All-Americans—Sydney Hilley, Grace Loberg, Dana Rettke, Mariah Whalen—along with Virginia Beach, Va., star Danielle Hart each officially signed their 2017 National Letter of Intent.
The class has the highest national profile of coach Kelly Sheffield’s tenure at UW and will strengthen a Wisconsin team poised to lose senior phenom Lauren Carlini, as well as key contributors Romana Kriskova and Haleigh Nelson at the end of the season.
Let’s meet the new Badgers:
Champlin Park High School (Champlin, Minn.)
First-team All-American; MaxPreps National Volleyball Player of the Year watch list; 2015 MaxPreps National Junior of the Year; 2015 Minnesota Volleyball Player of the Year; four-year varsity player; career stats: 1,805 kills (4.9/set); 47.1% kill percentage; .378% hitting percentage; 1,502 assists (4.1/set); 184 blocks (0.5/set).
6’3 Outside Hitter
Geneva High School (Geneva, Ill.)
First-team All-American; two-sport star (scored 1,000 points and is on track to grab 1,000 rebounds on the basketball team); as a senior at Geneva: 374 kills (4.5 kills per set); 50.1 kill%; 34 aces (12.2 ace %); her mother played middle blocker at Indiana.
6’8 Middle Blocker
Riverside-Brookfield High School (Riverside, Ill.)
Second-team All-American; tallest player in the nation; three-year varsity player; two sport star (basketball); career stats: 1,280 kills (4.8/set); 47.6% kill percentage; .336% hitting percentage; 191 aces (0.7/set); 20.1% ace percentage; 90.4% serving percentage; 259 blocks (1.0/set).
Very athletic player who set school records for kills and blocks while ranking second in digs. Check out highlights! https://t.co/Nm9V2h9x6t— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) November 9, 2016
6’1 Outside Hitter
Newman Catholic High School (Wausau, Wis.)
Third-team All-American; MaxPreps National Volleyball Player of the Year watch list; MaxPreps 2013 National Freshman of the Year; four-time state champion; four year varsity player; career stats: 2,732 kills (6.3/set); 50.2% kill percentage; .384% hitting percentage; 349 aces (0.8/set); 21.7% ace percentage; 85.2% serving percentage; 320 total blocks (0.7/set); sister of freshman football player Jake Whalen.
6’3 Middle Blocker
Ocean Lakes High School (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Formerly committed to Virginia Tech; first-team All-Tidewater.
A sixth member of the 2017 class, libero Riley Bell, will walk on to the Badger program.