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Wisconsin volleyball’s Dana Rettke, Sydney Hilley claim Big Ten awards

The Badgers’ freshmen were honored after their huge weekend in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke.
Freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke.
UW Athletic Communications

In a year when No. 6 Wisconsin volleyball needs its freshmen to come up big, the early returns are promising.

After a monster weekend that saw the Badgers sweep both Louisville and No. 11 North Carolina, freshmen middle blocker Dana Rettke and setter Sydney Hilley were honored by the Big Ten on Monday.

Rettke, who netted 15 kills and six blocks against Louisville on Friday and 15 kills and five blocks against North Carolina on Saturday, was named both the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week and the Co-Freshman of the Week. Rettke led the Badgers in kills and blocks in both matches, averaging 5.0 kills and 1.8 blocks per set.

Hilley, who had 36 assists against the Cardinals and 43 assists against the Tar Heels, was named Big Ten Setter of Week. She added 11 digs and two blocks against North Carolina.

Minnesota freshman Stephanie Samedy was named Co-Player and Co-Freshman of the week with Rettke after averaging 4.43 kills and 3.86 digs per set against North Carolina and Louisville in the other half of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge matches at the Field House. Illinois junior Ali Bastianelli was named Defensive Player of the Week.

With only four upperclassmen on this year’s Badgers squad and preseason All-Big Ten outside hitter Molly Haggerty sidelined with a back injury, both players are expected to play a large role this year. With two big performances already under their belt, Rettke and Hilley are off to a great start.