The Wisconsin Badgers are continuing their hot recruiting streak — befitting of the weather — in June.
Libero/defensive specialist Kristen Simon announced her commitment to the Badgers’ 2025 class Friday. The 5-foot-7 libero from Louisville, Kentucky is now the fourth commitment for head coach Kelly Sheffield in 2025, joining outside hitter Madison Quest, middle blocker Natalie Wardlow and setter Addy Horner who announced their commitments last week.
Simon played last season as the starting libero for her varsity high school team, Assumption High School. According to one recruiting profile, she tallied 4.7 digs per set and is the 65th rated player in the country for the class of 2025. She plays her club volleyball for KIVA volleyball in Louisville.
Simon’s addition helps round out a 2025 class that was dominated by front row players. UW currently has a commitment from back row player Lola Schumacher of Carmel, Indiana in the 2024 class. Additionally, Saige Damrow from Howards Grove, Wisconsin — who was an early enrollee and participated in spring camp — will suit up as a freshman for Wisconsin this fall.
Keep an eye on what moves the Badgers might make in regards to their back row defensive depth. Setter Izzy Ashburn and defensive specialist Joslyn Boyer are both out of eligibility after the season, while setter MJ Hammill and defensive specialist Sydney Reed are both seniors who might have an extra year of COVID eligibility lying around (but honestly, I don’t know). That could potentially mean all four are done at UW after the fall, leaving Gülce Güçtekin and Damrow as the only experienced defensive specialists.
Sheffield has often used the portal to find back row talent — Lauren Barnes, Gio Civita and Tiffany Clark are clear examples. But it will be interesting to see how the depth chart shakes out, especially if the Badgers think of switching away from the 6-2 rotation back to 5-1 after Ashburn departs.
Either way, UW gets another key piece to what is shaping up to be a huge 2025 recruiting class.