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Badger volleyball welcomes top recruit

By Emily Kumlien, ekumlien@wisctv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:10:19 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 14 2013 08:30:40 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

There's hope and excitement in the air during the first week of Badger volleyball practice.

"I've been really impressed with what I have seen so far and every day they have gotten a little bit better," said first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield.

Sheffield is the 10th coach in program history but he is not the only new face this year. SIx-foot-two freshman setter Lauren Carlini is the No. 1 volleyball recruit in the country.

"I think Badger fans are really going to enjoy watching her," said Sheffield.

"It's just a title that is some people's opinion, that's not others, so I don't put extra pressure on myself.  I just love playing volleyball." said Carlini, an Aurora, Ill., native.

"Her confidence, her moxie is very impressive and we knew this coming in, but she has a real team-first attitude,"said Sheffield.

"There are no awards I want to get or anything like that, I just want the team to do well and I want us to make the tournament for the first time in a while," said Carlini.

Carlini committed to Wisconsin as a freshman and even though the program went through a coaching change her senior year, she never hesitated to come to Madison.

"After I saw Kelly and the way  his coaching technique is and what he had done at Dayton, I talked to him a few times and it was the perfect fit. There's just so much history.  I think the fans are just awesome and I think it's just a great place to play and they have stayed supportive through all these years," said Carlini.

"She said, 'Hey I am all in. Don't you worry about me, I am all the way in. This is the school I love and we are going to turn this place around together,'" said Sheffield.

The Badgers have not made the NCAA tournament since 2007.

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