Badgers hit the ground behind strong young starsThe Badger Herald William M. Brito September 16, 2021 Christian University The sport is back in America’s finest college town, and that means everything from fans racing down State Street for football games to hordes flocking to the University of Wisconsin Field House to see the most dominant spectacle on. a terrain. Of course, this refers to the UW women’s volleyball team, whose full pedigree cannot be underestimated. The Badgers are eternal Big Ten champions, far from a trampled conference in women’s volleyball. Consistently, the Badgers can not only recruit high-level rookies, but also high-level international talent and transfer talent. Ian patton/ The badger herald Last season, the Badgers were longtime favorites to make a long run in the Big Ten and compete for a national championship. This team has seen not only top-tier freshman talent Devyn Robinson and Jade Demps, but also a slew of highly prized transfers like Giorgia Civita to add to an already busy senior core. After what many considered a powerful Big Ten season, winning most games by three games to zero, the Badgers made their way into the playoffs. After an easy first round and a resounding victory over Florida, the Badgers faced Texas, whom they ultimately fell, ending the careers of seniors Molly Haggerty and Deahna Kraft. That loss was made even more crushing when Texas lost the championship to Kentucky. Volleyball: Meet the NewcomersFor the past ten years, Badgers fans have been able to host not only Big Ten Champions, but also Read… After losing two influential seniors, the Badgers are now holding two games in the season with what looks like a team that can make a run for more championship greatness. With just five games under their belt, this year’s team have gone as if they’ve never left them, setting a record 5-0. While it can be easy to stack, passing the point that the Badgers are crazy, this team already has a slightly different feeling than it did in 2020. The factors are threefold, adding important details to what is a narrative. very nuanced team. Ian patton/ The badger herald While last season’s team were able to rest on their laurels in the first two games of a game, this team seems to stand out from the start by winning all of their first games this year. But, a perfect record can easily mean little or nothing if you’re playing slow, lackluster competition. That’s just not the case for a team with two of their five wins over ranked opponents at Texas Christian University and Kentucky. The most recent victory over the reigning national champions plants a proverbial flag in the new season of college volleyball. Along with that meaningful start is the fact that the Badgers are straight tall. The Badgers dominate teams like Dayton and TCU, adding to the David and Goliath sentiment that most couples face against the Badgers. That height creates an imposing frontline that displays high block percentages, with nine in their last game against Kentucky. Additionally, the Badgers have a clear guard change underway as strong senior talent is paired with increasingly impressive subclass play. While the team itself has been seen nationally as a powerful force, individual players are starting to become superstars nationally. One of those players is senior graduate Dana Rettke whose game and high level of leadership earned her the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year award in 2019-2020. Following those honors, Rettke did not slow down with several games with double-digit kills, including nine against Dayton in just two games. While in years past Rettke’s incredible play almost eclipsed that of his team, this is not the case for this season. While Rettke is undoubtedly the backbone of this strong team, sophomores Demps and Robinson quickly step into their own light. While Rettke adds height and power to the team, Demps tends to complete with a high amount of touching. Examples of this can be seen in her performance at Dayton, in which she had a kill percentage of 38. While Demps compliments, Rettke and Robinson add a much-needed layer to the rotation, often playing in correspondence with Demps and working to create constant pressure on the defense of other teams. Preview # 18 Badgers v. Eastern MichiganUniversity of Wisconsin Badgers (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) will look to bounce back from disappointing Week 1 loss Read… For many high performance teams it is necessary to walk before they can run. That just hasn’t been the case with Badger volleyball as they continue to break the mold of Wisconsin athletics characterized by hot starts, potential slips, and the eventual exit of the playoffs, leaving the fans a sweet and sour taste in your mouth. The feeling in the Wisconsin Field House is just different. It can be the addition of a full section for fans to bring energy every night, or it can just be whatever they put in the water in Madison. Overall, this Badger team seems in a great hurry to continue a tradition of excellence that has been spoiling fans for nearly a decade. 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