Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Sanger living a dream at UW

For the majority of the Wisconsin volleyball team, practice is part of the daily grind to prepare for the weekend. For senior Angie Sanger, however, practice is much more.

“That’s my time to play volleyball,” the 5-foot-4 reserve defensive specialist said.

Sanger appeared in just six games this season, picking up a pair of defensive digs, so it is in practice that she makes her contributions.


“She’s been one of those players that have just come into the gym everyday and worked hard,” head coach Pete Waite said. “She’s been really positive with everybody. I know that as she got older into the program, she was somebody that our younger players could look up to and talk to, and sometimes she’s more of the person that’s supporting them behind the scenes and actually challenging them everyday on the court, and that’s not an easy role.”

While it may not be the most glamorous of roles, Sanger works hard each day to prepare the starters for the upcoming match.

“There’s a lot of times in practice where she’s serving tough enough to really make the first team struggle, or digging the balls that they’re hitting as hard as they can,” Waite said. “So, the better she can play, the better the first team will be.”

Sitting the bench is never easy, but Sanger is not complaining about her four-year experience at UW.

“It’s very difficult not playing, but just coming to practice and being with the team everyday — it’s all worth it,” she said. “My teammates, we are just always there for each other and support each other no matter what, and they’re a lot of fun to be around.”

A Madison native and Edgewood High School graduate, Sanger passed up a chance at more playing time to fulfill a lifelong goal and suit up for the cardinal and white.

“UW-Whitewater actually offered me a spot on their team. I felt that academically it wasn’t good for me, and so I really wanted to come here to UW,” she said. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to come to Wisconsin and be on the volleyball team; it’s been like a dream to me.”

After waiting all her life to earn a spot on the Wisconsin volleyball team, putting on the Wisconsin jersey is something that Sanger cannot describe.

“You can’t really explain that feeling,” she said. “It’s unexplainable.”

So what is it like when the lifelong Badger fan does get into a match?

“I get very nervous and my heart pounds,” she said. “It’s very exciting, and it’s just awesome to be in front of that many people.”

Undoubtedly the most memorable moment of 2003 for Sanger was her last match in the Field House, a 3-0 Wisconsin sweep of Purdue on Senior Night. As game three drew to a close, the Badger faithful began to chant for Sanger. Finally, with UW leading 28-23, Waite granted the fans’ wish, inserting his reserve senior into the lineup. As she took the court, the crowd came to their feet in true Hollywood style.

“Some of the fans have come up to me and said, ‘That’s just like Rudy!'” Sanger said with a smile. “It was awesome, just to have the fans behind me and just to be out there playing in front of the people that support me. It was great.”

Not only did Sanger get a taste of the court, she also played a ball, much to the delight of the 4,212 fans in attendance.

“I remember right after I passed it the whole crowd started cheering, and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ It was a little surprising, but good,” she said.

“I really wanted to get her in, and that’s the tough thing with college athletics and especially the Big Ten,” Waite said. “Even with rally scoring, things can change so quickly. I know the crowd was chanting, her friends were pushing, and my coaches were pushing the whole time. It built up to a pretty exciting time when she did get on the court, so I know she had a lot of fun and it was fun for her family to watch.”

Regardless of what transpired on the volleyball court, the 5-foot-4 Sanger will always be remembered as the “short” one, in comparison to her six-foot plus teammates.

“I’m actually not short. All the rest of the people are just really, really tall,” she calmly explained. “So I’m normal height. They’re just abnormally tall.”

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