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Wisconsin volleyball: UW is ready for the NCAA Tournament

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The Badgers, who haven’t played much recently, are ready for some game action.

Tom Lynn

The NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament got started on Wednesday afternoon so now is as good a time as any to check in with the Wisconsin Badgers team and see how they are feeling. UW plays the winner of Bowling Green and Weber State (streaming on ESPN3 at 6:00 p.m. CT Wednesday night) and the team arrived in Omaha on Monday. They’ll have their first practice on Wednesday after being COVID tested on Monday night and Tuesday.

Kelly Sheffield

“It certainly feels good to get to the point where you are at a single elimination tournament. We are certainly excited to be a part of it.”

“Looking forward to see who we are gonna play.” Notes that it is weird to not know who they are going to play.

Mentions that BGSU has gone 6-1 in fifth sets (which is hopefully not something that UW will have to concern itself with).

“You’re planning for a trip where you don’t know if you’re going to be gone for four days or gone for 13 days. How does all of that stuff work? There is a lot of communication that happens with a lot of people.”

“At the end of the day, the players just want to play and test themselves against the best.”

“By the time we play our first match we will have played three matches in two months. Our sport is such a rhythm sport. Our sport is a rhythm sport and all sports season have a rhythm to them. And [this season] has been anything but that.”

On what he’s most proud of for his team: “They stayed with it. They stuck with it. They stuck with each other. All of the challenging things that have gone on in their lives, all of the sacrifices they’ve made.”

Sydney Hilley

On her connection with the hitters that she is setting up: “I came in the same class as a lot of the hitters right now so we’ve had lots of years to work on connections so thankfully that’s something we don’t have to spend a lot of time working on.”

On the adversity they’ve faced this season: “It means so much more due to all the stuff that we’ve gone through together. It’s hard to explain if you’re not in it.”

Notes that she isn’t too worried about the atmosphere or conditions at the tournament because once they start playing they’ll block all that out.

Dana Rettke

Mentions that winning the Big Ten title was a high point and her low point is basically being a regular human and saying “hi” to friends on the street because they couldn’t really break out of their bubble.

On losing in the finals last tournament: “Obviously that was a long time ago but it has never left any of our minds...it really is motivation for this tournament because we were so close last year and we just didn’t close it out.”