Badgers represent at inaugural volleyball media days

Kelly Sheffield, Anna Smrek and Sarah Franklin attended media days in Chicago.
The reigning national champion Wisconsin Badgers took the podium on Tuesday and participated in Big Ten volleyball media days. The Big Ten became the first conf
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (WMTV) - The reigning national champion Wisconsin Badgers took the podium on Tuesday and participated in Big Ten volleyball media days. The Big Ten became the first conference to host an in-person preseason volleyball media event.

“Big Ten has shown great leadership in being the first one but there’s got to be three, four, seven conferences that are doing this next year,” Head Wisconsin Volleyball Coach Kelly Sheffield said. “This is a sport that people are passionate about following and putting a spotlight on that and giving access it’s got to be more than the Big Ten moving forward.

Sheffield was joined by sophomore middle blocker Anna Smrek and Michigan State transfer, outside hitter Sarah Franklin.

Headed into this upcoming season, Wisconsin will be without some of their big stars like Dana Rettke, Sydney Hilley and Lauren Barnes. When asked about how the team will be able to replace the lost talent, Smrek said she feels like the transfers and young girls have stepped up and everyone holds each other accountable.

“We learned from those individuals that graduated they taught us so much,” Smrek said. “It’s like we are still playing alongside them and everything they showed us stayed with us.”

Franklin said when she put her name in the transfer portal she had thought Wisconsin might be a good fit, but after her visit she knew this was the place she was meant to be.

“The competitive drive that I have I think fits right into the culture,” Franklin said. “So coming in and playing at these open gyms feels natural. All of us are so competitive and we have a lot of confrontation but it’s good confrontation.”

The Badgers start their season at home on August 20 for the Red and White scrimmage and open the regular season on the road at Texas Christian University on August 26.

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