No. 8 Wisconsin volleyball is in The Dance.
Fresh off of their weekend wins over Rutgers and Penn State, the Badgers received the overall No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament, and with it, home court advantage the first weekend.
Wisconsin (22-6) will host Horizon League champions UW-Green Bay (20-10) in the first round Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Field House. The Phoenix, led by Ashley Sledge (.303 hitting percentage) and Taylor Wolf (4.62 kills per set), were first in the Horizon in offense, hitting .208 on the season. Pepperdine will take on Northern Iowa in the second match, with the winners playing Friday at 7 p.m. CT.
The Big Ten is well represented in this year’s tournament with five teams seeded, including Minnesota (No. 2), Illinois (No. 3), Wisconsin (No. 6), Nebraska (No. 7), and Penn State (No. 8). Michigan and Purdue also made the tournament.
With its season-ending victory over the Nittany Lions, Wisconsin may have avoided overall No. 1 seed Stanford until the championship game. As the No. 8 seed, Penn State drew the Cardinal’s quadrant. Stanford eliminated Wisconsin from both the 2016 and 2017 tournaments.
The Badgers hold a 43-21 record all-time in 21 NCAA tournament appearances. They are 15-5 under coach Kelly Sheffield, advancing to at least the Sweet 16 in every appearance. The 2018 squad boasts a number of victories over tournament teams, including Texas, Penn State, Illinois, Nebraska, Marquette, High Point, Illinois State, Purdue and Michigan.
If both Wisconsin and Illinois advance past the first weekend, Wisconsin will travel to Urbana-Champaign for the Sweet 16. USC (11) and Marquette (14) are the other seeded teams in the quadrant, with the Trojans being Wisconsin’s potential third round opponent if the seeds hold.
The Final Four will be held in Minneapolis on Dec.13 and 15.
The full NCAA bracket may be found here.