The Badgers returned from Texas a perfect 2-0 on their road trip last weekend, and they couldn’t have done it without budding star Molly Haggerty.
After setting a new school record and career-high 27 kills in her jaw-dropping performance against then-No. 16 Texas A&M University, the American Volleyball Coaches Association named freshman outside hitter Molly Haggerty National Player of the Week. With the award, Haggerty became the first player in Wisconsin school history to earn this title as a freshman and the fourth player to do so overall for the Badgers.
Thanks in part to Haggerty’s record-setting contributions against the Aggies, the Badgers swept Texas A&M 3-0 last Friday before going on to defeat then-No.2 University of Texas two days later in a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win.
Finishing with a total of 20 kills in last Sunday’s battle with Texas, Haggerty’s effort against the Longhorns was the second consecutive match in which she recorded more than 20 kills.
While Tuesday was the first time Haggerty earned AVCA’s National Player of the Week honor, it is far from the first recognition she has received from the Big Ten. Through a total of eight appearances in her entire college career, the first-year starter has now been named Big Ten Volleyball’s Freshman of the Week twice and Big Ten Volleyball’s Player of the Week once.
The Illinois native has been outstanding for the Badgers this season, especially after Wisconsin’s temporary loss of veteran junior outside hitter Lauryn Gillis to an ankle injury. Haggerty leads the Badgers in kills through the team’s first nine games with a total of 116 on the season — 37 more than the team’s second-highest total held by senior middle blocker Haleigh Nelson.
Haggerty’s 4.00 kills-per-set average is the highest on the Badgers’ team this season and good enough to place her seventh among the ranks of Big Ten competition.
Wisconsin has returned to the top five ranks in the latest AVCA poll after falling from the No. 2 spot in a loss to the University of North Carolina earlier this season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Haggerty and the Badgers return to the court for their Big Ten opener Friday night at 7 p.m. when they host No. 19 Ohio State University at UW Field House.