Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Careers over for storied senior class

Wisconsin's second-round loss to Iowa State in the NCAA
Volleyball Tournament marked the end of five seniors' careers at Madison.

"I'm happy and thrilled for our team and our players,
obviously, but also sad for Wisconsin," Iowa State head coach and former
Wisconsin assistant Christy Johnson said. "They are people I personally care
about and I feel for them and I wish, for them, it could have ended

Jackie Simpson, Jocelyn Wack, Taylor Reineke, Amada Berkley
and Megan Mills closed their careers as the most successful senior class in
recent memory. Simpson and Reinke have five All-Big Ten selections between them
and Wack was an honorable mention selection this year.
Simpson was also named a second-team All-American in 2006.

In their time at Wisconsin, the seniors have added their
names to the record books. Wack holds the record for the most digs in a season
and did not miss a game in her four-year career. Reineke is tied for the all-time
lead in block assists in a season, with 181, and Simpson second in assists with
5,144 throughout her career.

"This is one match, but this group had a very, very good
season. I want them to be proud of that," Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite said.

The five seniors helped lead their team to the NCAA Tournament
each of the last four years, advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2004 and
2005. The team has also never finished lower than fourth in the Big Ten in
their tenure.


"We have done a lot in our careers," Wack said. "We have a
lot to be proud of. I mean, it's going to hurt for a while because of this last
match, but we've had a great career."

Johnson's return to the Field House

After being swept last year by Wisconsin in the second round
of the NCAA Tournament, Johnson was able to upset her former team at the Field

Though she left Wisconsin three years ago, she still has
many connections with the program. She helped recruit and coach the senior
class on the collegiate and club level.

"We are probably best friends with that staff compared to
anybody in the country," Pete Waite said. "If anybody was going to do this, we
are happy for them. [Johnson]'s done great things with that program and those

Since taking over the team, Johnson has an overall record of
50-34 and has led the team to a 32-28 record in the Big 12. Before arriving at
ISU, the team had won just 13 conference matches in 180 games.

Johnson has taken the Cyclones to their first-ever regional
semifinal. The team has defeated their third straight ranked opponent after beating
No. 23 Oklahoma then knocking off No. 16 San Diego in the first round of the

Excitement at the Field House

Fans at the Field House saw the kind of athletic drama only
the NCAA Tournament could offer.

After drawing 3,194 people on Friday night and 2,025 people
in blizzard-like conditions on Saturday, coaches and players alike were happy
to see the enthusiasm the Wisconsin fans showed towards the game.

"The crowd, as we anticipated, was people that really
enjoyed volleyball," San Diego head coach Jennifer Petrie said. "You could tell
that after some really exceptional, long defensive rallies we had and you could
tell the people were just appreciative of volleyball.”

Iowa State has become a "Cinderella Story" in the Madison
regional, knocking off No.16 San Diego and No. 8 Wisconsin. The regional will
continue as Iowa State will play No. 7 California next weekend. The Cyclones
were 2-2 in NCAA play before this year's tournament, including a win against
UW-Milwaukee at the Field House last year.

If Iowa State wins, they would play the winner of the Michigan
State Nebraska match.

The Cornhuskers, who finished the season ranked second in
the nation behind Penn State, are led by former Wisconsin head coach John Cook.
The game will be Cook's first game in the Field House since leaving Wisconsin
in 1998.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *