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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Volleyball takes on rival Marquette

[media-credit name=’BEN CLASSON/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Volleyball_BC[/media-credit]

After an early exit from last season’s NCAA tournament, the
Wisconsin volleyball team looks to erase the memory of last fall as the spring
season starts. The first opportunity to turn the page will be today in the
first game of the spring season against in-state rival Marquette.

Although last year’s second round loss to Iowa State still
hurts, the new spring season will provide a chance for the Badgers to look


“We do kind of have that in the back of our minds
giving us that little energy or fire to work hard and not let it happen
again,” junior Morgan Salow said.

Marquette, who finished last season 10-16, is also coming
into the matchup on a sour note. After losing eight consecutive matches in a
key 10-game stretch to end the season, the Golden Eagles were unable to qualify
for the NCAA tournament. However, the Badgers are not taking the game lightly.

“We’re very excited to be able to go out and play
another team again and see how we match up,” Salow said. “It’s always
fun to get out there and see some new faces across the net from us and have to
defend different things instead of our own teammates in practice all of the

The matchup will feature a different Wisconsin team from the
one fans saw earlier in the season. Although it is still the same school year
as the fall, the seniors are ineligible for spring play. And while the team
will miss players like All-American Jackie Simpson, the coaching staff looks at
the spring season in a positive light.

“We want the younger classmen given the best
opportunity to get a lot of repetitions in practice and competition,” head
coach Pete Waite said.

Not only are the Golden Eagles the first of three matchups
this spring for Wisconsin, but they are also the only actual team the Badgers
will play until the fall. Later in April, the Badgers, who are ranked 14th
nationally in the AVCA poll, will play a game against UW Alumni and then
compete in an eight-player tournament in San Diego. The game against Marquette
will be one of the best ways for the coaching staff to evaluate the team before
the regular season begins again in the fall.

“For the most part, we want to get a good gauge on
where our team is at, considering we’re halfway through our spring
training,” Waite said.

The players are looking forward to showing how much they’ve
improved since last fall.

“We are approaching this match with some good energy and
a desire to get on the court and show people who we really are, and how good we
will be this fall,” Salow said.

One of the ways Wisconsin prepared for Marquette and the
other spring games was a training visit to San Diego. In addition to a
scrimmage against San Diego State, the team practiced on the beaches.

“Everybody on the roster improved a lot,” Waite
said. “It helped all their games dramatically.”

The players appreciated the opportunity to improve as well.

“I think this spring season has been one of a kind with
all of the different opportunities that we’ve had come our way, so we’ve all
been able to really work on our all-around game and improve in so many areas,
so that’s very exciting for us,” Salow said.

The team will find out if all the offseason training has
paid off when the Badgers and Golden Eagles face off tonight.

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