Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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UW prepares for first round

When Wisconsin takes the court for its NCAA match today, it will have the comfort of the UW Field House surroundings and UW fans supporting it.

Coming off of a Big Ten championship, the Badgers will take the momentum of their victorious season as well as their home-court advantage into their first rounds of NCAA play.

“We are very happy to be here hosting today,” UW head coach Pete Waite said. “We play very well in front of our home crowd, and our team is playing very well and practicing very well right now, so we feel good going into the tournament.”

Waite was quick to mention that, although his team will look to make a return trip to the national championship match, it is in no way looking past the teams it will face this weekend.

The Badgers will open their postseason tournament play with a game against UW-Milwaukee.

Height will be one of the biggest advantages Wisconsin will have over Milwaukee, but Waite added that, although shorter, Milwaukee is a very quick team, and the Badgers will need to be ready to adjust their playing accordingly.

The biggest threat Wisconsin poses to opponents this weekend is the unstoppable front line of setter Lizzy Fitzgerald, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year, middle blockers Sherisa Livingston and Amy Hultgren and outside hitter Erin Byrd, Lori Rittenhouse and Jill Odenthal.

While Wisconsin is stacked with talent, it also has the benefit of coming off of a competitive season in the Big Ten.

Fitzgerald gave credit to the Badgers’ tough conference season as an added advantage for her team coming into the NCAA Tournament.

“The Big Ten has prepared us very well to play great volleyball every game,” Fitzgerald said. “I think that is a huge advantage for us.”
The Badgers will face off against the Panthers Friday night at 7 p.m. in the UW Field House.
The winner of the Notre Dame/Michigan State match will take on the winner of the Milwaukee/Madison match Saturday night. The victorious team will advance to the second round of tournament play Sunday, which is also being played in Madison.

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