Head coach Kelly Sheffield is always looking to add more firepower to the Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team. This time, he’ll bring in an All-American standout to the Badgers’ arsenal.
Former Northwestern outside hitter Temi Thomas-Ailara announced Tuesday she committed to Wisconsin. She’ll come in as a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter was a four-year standout for the Wildcats, but saved her best for her final season where she was named an AVCA All-American, first team All-Big Ten and AVCA All-Region after leading the loaded Big Ten with 502 kills at a rate of 4.33 kills per set.
Officially committed! I’m so excited to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this process!! ❤️ #OnWisconsin— Temi Thomas (@temi_t_) January 31, 2023
Thomas-Ailara boasts a powerful swing and was the clear leader for a Northwestern squad that punched above its weight last year en route to upset wins over Minnesota and Purdue — Thomas-Ailara had 25 kills in the five-set win over Purdue. The senior also put up solid defensive numbers across blocking and digging, suggesting she could play all six rotations for the Badgers if needed.
Thomas-Ailara will add a great option at outside hitter for Sheffield to go along with Sarah Franklin and Julia Orzoł. That position lost a little bit of depth this off-season as Jade Demps transferred to the LSU Tigers.
Thomas-Ailara is the Badgers’ second transfer addition this season. Former Minnesota Gopher middle blocker Carter Booth joined the UW as well.
The 6-foot-7 middle blocker earned All-Big Ten First Team and Freshman Team honors while leading the Gophers with 1.48 blocks per set.
UW also will add defensive specialist/libero Sage Damrow for the spring semester as an early enrollee. Damrow was a standout at Howards Grove in-state and was named the second best libero in the class by PrepVolleyball.