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Wisconsin volleyball: a record six Badgers named AVCA All-Americans

Dana Rettke and Sydney Hilley were both named to the first team, Rettke for the fourth (!!!!) straight year.

Dana Rettke (first team) and Grace Loberg (third team) were recently named AVCA All-Americans
Mark Kuhlmann/NCAA Photos

There is no doubt that the Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team has had a wonderful season. First of all, they have yet to lose a match this season. Second of all, they won the Big Ten and have been ranked No. 1 in the country all year. Third of all, they play in the Final Four against Texas on Thursday night, hoping to get back to the finals and avenge last season’s title game loss.

Fourth of all, which is probably the least important to the players right now, on Wednesday morning the Badgers had a school-record six players earn AVCA All-America honors!

Senior Dana Rettke becomes the first Badger to earn four first-team All-America awards, just the sixth player in the nation to be recognized. Senior Sydney Hilley also earned first-team honors for the second consecutive year while Lauren Barnes earns her first All-America honor, being named to the second team. Freshman Devyn Robinson becomes a third-team All-American while Molly Haggerty and Grace Loberg earned honorable mention accolades.

Rettke joins an elite club that features Olympians Megan Hodge (Penn State), Bev Oden (Stanford), Sarah Pavan (Nebraska), Logan Tom (Stanford) and (Kerri Walsh (Stanford). We are, quite literally, getting to watch a volleyball legend play for the Badgers every match and we should not gloss over that fact. She currently leads the Badgers with 3.19 kills per set while hitting .423, which ranks second in the Big Ten and No. 13 nationally. Rettke also ranks second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally with 1.55 blocks per set.

Hilley becomes a four-time All-American, earning honorable mention honors as a freshman, second-team honors as a sophomore, and first-team honors as a junior and senior. The back to back Big Ten Setter of the Year averages 10.86 assists per set, which ranks third in the Big Ten and No. 19 nationally. She also ranks second on the team with 2.39 digs per set while adding 0.51 blocks per set.

Barnes, in his her first year as the starting libero at UW, earned second-team All-Big Ten and AVCA All-Region honors. She ranks third in the Big Ten with 4.51 digs per set, tallying double-figure digs in 12 matches this season, including 20-plus digs in four matches. Barnes recorded a career-high 28 digs in two matches this season, including vs. Florida in a virtuoso performance in the Elite 8 on Monday.

Robinson ranks second on the UW team with a .414 hitting percentage, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten and No. 18 nationally. She also ranks fourth on the team with 2.60 kills per set while ranking second with 1.00 blocks per set. She is the fourth Badger to earn All-America honors as a freshman.

Haggerty and Loberg make up the Badgers’ outstanding left-side hitter duo, averaging 2.71 and 2.80 kills per set, respectively. Loberg is a two-first All-Big Ten selection and also earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2019. Haggerty is a two-time second-team All-Big Ten honoree.

The No. 1-seeded Badgers (16-0) continue their quest for a NCAA Championship, advancing to their second-straight NCAA national semifinal. Wisconsin takes on No. 4-seed Texas (26-1) on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. live on ESPN.