UW Volleyball’s Zukowski Proves to be Ace

· Sep 24, 2001 Tweet

The scenario is so eerily similar to Gregg and Marcia’s of “The Brady Bunch” that creator Sherwood Schwartz might want to think about filing a copyright infringement lawsuit.

When Lisa Zukowski, an outside hitter for the UW volleyball team, took her drivers test four years ago, her older brother finally had a chance to gloat — he had scored better on his test by three points.

“He hung it on the fridge for all to see,” Zukowski said.

The older Zukowski had waited nearly three years to have bragging rights ever since his younger sister beat him at arm wrestling.

“I was in seventh grade when I beat him,” Zukowski said. “I could never beat him now, because he is buff, but he will never live it down.”

Zukowski has since moved on to bigger and better challenges. As a sophomore on the UW volleyball team, she has quickly become one of the Badgers’ top players. In only her second season she leads the team in service aces, with 12; ranks third on the team in kills, with 140; and ranks second in digs, with 106. She also has a .258 hitting percentage. These statistics are a far cry from Zukowski’s freshman year, when she managed 39 kills and 47 digs in only 53 games of action.
“Last year I didn’t play as much, but I did come off the bench,” Zukowski said. “I came into this season not knowing where I stood but just knowing that I had to work really hard to be in [the starting role] if I wanted to be.”

Zukowski’s presence in the starting lineup has opened new holes. Opposing coaches acknowledge that their game plan is to stop UW’s All-American middle blocker, Sherisa Livingston. With opponents focusing their defenses on Livingston, Zukowski has accepted a supporting role in the Badgers’ defense of their 2000 Big Ten title.

“It’s fun for me because they are keying in on Sherisa,” Zukowski said. “I probably wasn’t a primary person to scout — it messes with [opposing teams].”
Zukowski has not surprised herself with her current level of play. In four years of high school competition she earned honors made more for a trophy case than a refrigerator door. During her senior year she was named Player of the Year by the Gator Circle of Champions, the Wisconsin Volleyball Coaches Association and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She was also named to the 1999 Volleyball Magazine All-American team. Her West Bend East team won the Wisconsin state championship in both her sophomore and senior seasons.

Outside of high school, Zukowski, along with current teammate and good friend Korie Gardner, led the Milwaukee Sting, her club team, to a second-place finish in the 2000 Junior Nationals.

After high school, choosing where to play college came easily for Zukowski. Zukowski had dreamed of attending UW, and with her high academic standing and unprecedented athletic talent, Wisconsin seemed like a good fit for her.

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This article was published Sep 24, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 24, 2001 at 12:00 am

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