With another exciting win under their belts, the Wisconsin Badgers welcome the Fighting Illini. The Badgers now stand 17-4 overall with 6-3 in the Big Ten. Illinois dropped to 8-11 overall and 4-5 Big Ten after their lost to Northwestern this past Wednesday.
Illinois is currently sitting ninth in the Big Ten with a .202 hitting percentage.
With a few good results over the last few games behind them, the Badgers are looking to keep this positive momentum rolling in their direction.
“It all depends on your goals.” Sheffield said. “Our players want to win Big Ten championships. These guys don’t go in thinking their dream was to beat a singular opponent. Their dreams are to wear a ring and hold a trophy at the end of the year. You just need to stay focused on what is in front of you and what you have control over and put all your energy into that.”
The Badger fans have been bringing in enthusiasm and excitement that has filled the Field House match after match. Excitement has continued to build as the team’s prospects in the postseason get better with each win.
The matchup between Illinois and Wisconsin is going to be nothing shy of a great game in Big Ten volleyball.
“It’s going to be two hungry teams going at each other, you know hopefully the students will come out to support us again. It’s great when the crowd is so energetic. People want to see great volleyball. That’s the thing about the Big Ten is that every time that you come here, you’re going to see a really really great effort. [Sunday] you’re going to see two teams that are just absolutely battling each other,” Sheffield said
Illinois’s team brings in some strong players that are both big and physical.
“What else is new in this conference,” Sheffield said.
Redshirt sophomore Jocelynn Birks has recorded 282 kills thus far averaging 3.76 kills per set, compared to junior Ellen Chapman’s 272 kills and average of 3.36 kills per set.
Wisconsin needs to focus on what they do best, grinding it out and keep looking forward for the next move.
“We really need to keep up the service passing. That’s definitely what we have over other teams in this conference. Our serve is really tough and the back row is the best in the country, we just need to keep going with that and I think we can’t really lose if we keep that up,” Chapman said.
As they approach the second half of their season, the Badgers need to take control of their strengths and continue to use them to their advantage.
“You always need to find ways to get better.” Sheffield said, ”This second half of the season, the one thing we can really control is, are we going to improve more than any other team in the conference? That’s where you put your focus on, is getting better and improving. That’s what you can control and that’s what we have to control.”
“We want to win.” Junior Deme Morales added.