The Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team was picked to win the Big Ten conference by the league’s coaches, it was announced on Monday morning. The Badgers are ranked No. 5 in the country, the fifth straight season they have been ranked in the top-10 to start the season.
Last year, the Badgers went 15-5 in conference and finished third. They are seeking to be Big Ten champs for the first time since 2014.
Nebraska, the No. 2 ranked team in the country, was picked to finish right behind the Badgers and then defending B1G champ Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois round out the top-five in the conference.
The Big Ten is such a good conference that these five teams are all in the AVCA Top 10, but *not* even in the same order they’re listed here. It’s going to be an incredibly fun year to follow not just Illinois volleyball but the entire B1G with so many great teams playing. https://t.co/yjn0IMnoyD— Jacob Rajlich (@JacobRajlich) August 26, 2019
Like this guy Jacob says...it’s going to be an incredibly fun year in the B1G. The league is deep and talented and also includes Rutgers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see any of the teams selected to finish in the top-five of the Big Ten actually win the league, or the national title.
The conference also announced its all-conference team members. The team was highlighted by two Badgers, juniors Dana Rettke (one of three players selected unanimously) and Sydney Hilley. Last year, Rettke was an AVCA first-team All-American and Hilley made the second team. Making the preseason list for the B1G is probably a precursor to both of them finding themselves on national lists at the end of the year again.
It was also announced that five B1G all-conference players were also named to the 2018 Academic All-Big Ten team. A full 40% of those players were Badgers, with Rettke and Hilley representing the team yet again.
Here is the full list of players on the all-conference team:
JACQUELINE QUADE, SR., OH, ILLINOIS
Erika Pritchard, Jr., OH, Maryland
Alexis Hart, Sr., OH, Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Sr., MB, Minnesota
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., OPP, Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, So., S, Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., MB, Nebraska
Lexi Sun, Jr., OH, Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, So., MB, Penn State
Jonni Parker, So., RS, Penn State
KENDALL WHITE, Sr., DS, PENN STATE
Blake Mohler, Sr., MB, Purdue
Sydney Hilley, Jr., S, Wisconsin
DANA RETTKE, Jr., MB, WISCONSIN
UNANIMOUS SELECTIONS IN CAPS
Wisconsin’s first games of the season are this Friday and Saturday in the B1G/ACC Challenge in Chapel Hill, NC. The Badgers and the Gophers will be representing the best conference in the land while UNC and Florida State will be trying their best.