Madison, WI – The University of Wisconsin volleyball team has announced several roster changes, according to UW Coach Pete Waite. Junior Amy Hultgren, a transfer from the University of Texas, will join the Badgers this fall while Claudia Rodriguez, the 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has left the team to return to her native Mexico.

Hultgren, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker, will have two years of eligibility remaining. A native of Spencer, Iowa, Hultgren played two years at Texas and follows Meggan Kohnen as the second Longhorn to transfer to Wisconsin in as many years.

“I’m really happy to have Amy joining our program this season,” said Waite. “She was a player I was recruiting four years ago and it’s great we’ll be working together this season. She’ll be a real presence in the front court for us. The fact that she’s transfering in with two years of college experience under her belt is a real bonus.”

Hultgren played in all 48 matches for Texas as a freshman and sophomore, starting 17. As a sophomore, she led the team with 1.14 blocks per game and ranked second with a .310 attack percentage. She ranked fourth on the team with 2.29 kills per game. As a freshman, Hultgren averaged 1.14 blocks and 1.16 kills per game.

Rodriguez, a 6-foot-3 opposite hitter, redshirted her freshman season due to a knee injury, which she suffered prior to coming to Wisconsin. In 2000, she played in 31 matches, starting 12, where she averaged 2.98 kills and 1.10 blocks per game. Rodriguez dislocated her right shoulder prior to the NCAA Regional semifinal match and had surgery on the shoulder in January.

It seems that Claudia really struggled emotionally with the major surgeries she sustained in her first two years at Wisconsin, said Waite. The knee surgery was tough her first year, but she recovered physically and had a great season. She was a big reason we made it to the national championship match.

The rehabilitation of her shoulder was making progress, but the combination of a number of setbacks seemed to be too overwhelming. I feel our staff did everything possible to help her through a difficult time. We are disappointed that Claudia will not be with us, but our team has been training without her all spring and they are doing well. We wish Claudia well.”

The Badgers begin their 2001 season on Aug. 24-25 at the seventh annual State Farm Volleyball Classic, presented by NACWAA, in Stockton, Calif. The tournament is the only pre-season volleyball competition allowed by the NCAA with participating teams playing one week prior to the official season opening. Defending NCAA champion Nebraska will take on Hawai’i in the first match on Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. PDT while Wisconsin will place Pacific in the second match at 7 p.m. PDT. The consolation match will be held Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. PDT with the championship match at 7 p.m. PDT. All four matches are scheduled to air on ESPN2.