Bianca Miceli has appreciated a slightly charmed life in her path with the UW Athletic department.
She worked initially as a student worker making coaches video and creating highlights all across the program, but the Wisconsin volleyball program asked her if she wanted to work for their specific team full time in 2016.
Considering they were going to Hawaii that year, the answer was an obvious and emphatic “yes.”
Miceli continued to grow with the department and took over as “Brand Manager” in 2019 — meaning she got to control social media. Miceli initially planned on going to school to be an athletic trainer, but when that didn’t work out, she still knew she wanted to be involved in sport. Now, Miceli has grown a deeper appreciation and love for the sport and the team — more than she ever expected.
“I all of a sudden started caring more about NCAA Volleyball results than I was paying attention to college football and I was like ‘what happened?” Miceli said.
This season has been especially tough for Miceli with her role controlling the social media and video produced by the Badgers Volleyball accounts (a must follow for Wisconsin fans, might we add). With the stop-and-start nature of the season and the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Miceli said it was hard to not be around the team and in the gym.
Miceli said when the fall season was postponed until the spring, she was so emotional and happy for the fact there at least would be a volleyball season this year.
“It’s literally an endorphin boost when I get into the gym. When I’m not having a great day, I make sure I go to practice,” Miceli said.
If that quote sounds exactly like something the players would say, you would be right. Miceli said the closeness she shares with the team is not something she thinks is the case with a lot of other teams across the country, and why in her mind, the content coming from Wisconsin’s team accounts — Miceli cited specifically the men’s hockey, men’s basketball and football team as similarly great — is different.
“That’s what makes our content so different. I’m like in the program, and I think a lot of other schools don’t have the ability to do it,” Miceli said.
In terms of her role, Miceli said assistant coach Brittany Dildine called her a “silent observer” with the players. Her job is just to showcase the energy and fun the team brings, and the content really reflects the team’s spirit. While the players know they’ll be on camera, they don’t often ask her to post specific things or highlight stuff.
Still, Miceli said that the players know when the camera is on them, and some of them are more likely to ham it up than others. Miceli said every year the team has added more humor in the gym, but this year’s freshman class — especially Jade Demps and Devyn Robinson — were “on another level” for fun content.
We know you've missed these dance moves. pic.twitter.com/sfxdPWnB3V— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) March 22, 2021
With the fun had by all — others Miceli mentioned as stars in front of the camera were Nicole Shannahan, Liz Gregorski and Giorgia Civita — and the craziness of the season, Miceli hoped to take a looser tone on social media while still having some seriousness.
“This year, it’s been so weird and so crazy — especially with me having more of my touch on social media — I just wanted to reflect what’s happening in the gym and have a sense of humor about it,” Miceli said. “Let’s have some fun with it.”
Miceli also has the fun not just of seeing the new dance moves or players acting like “goofballs” at times during practice, but the success of the No. 1 team in the country.
With one weekend series before the NCAA Tournament against the No. 24 Michigan Wolverines — games are at 6:00 p.m. CT on Thursday on Big Ten Network and 2:00 p.m. CT on Friday on ESPNU — Miceli will hope she can post all about how the Badgers are still undefeated heading into the postseason.
And maybe a couple dancing videos and good gifs too.