UW Health Sports Medicine 

Volleyball hosts first spring match Saturday

ON WISCONSIN <b>Head coach Kelly Sheffield talks to his team during a practice.</b>
Head coach Kelly Sheffield talks to his team during a practice.

March 13, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- With springtime soon approaching, the Wisconsin volleyball team too has sprung into action and will host their first spring match of the season Saturday, taking on Loyola at the UW Field House.

Saturday’s events include an intra-squad practice, lasting from 2:30 – 4 p.m., as well as a match beginning at 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Afterwards, new Badger head coach Kelly Sheffield and the assistant coaches will be available for a Q&A session with fans.

 Spring Match # 1 vs. Loyola
 Date  Saturday, March 16
 Location  UW Field House  |  Madison, Wis.
 Open Practice
 2:30 - 4 p.m.
 Match  6 p.m.
 Q&A  Post-match Q&A with coaching staff
 Parking  Free parking in lots 17 and 19
 Social Media  Facebook   |  @BadgerVBall on Twitter

Sheffield says he expects fans to see an improving team on the court Saturday.

“Hopefully what they’ll see this Saturday is a team that’s trying to figure things out and trying to come together,” Sheffield said. “I think every day we’re getting better. I think the team is buying to what we’re trying to get them to do.”

The first of three home spring matches, Sheffield says his team will benefit from learning more about itself.

“What we’ll have this weekend is a little bit of information on ourselves and hopefully what that will allow us to do is to get back to the gym and be better the next time we’re here,” Sheffield said. “And hopefully we’re better the following time.”

The Badgers return 12 letterwinners this spring, including four starters  – juniors Annemarie Hickey and Julie Mikaelsen and sophomores Courtney Thomas and Ellen Chapman. This spring, the team will also feature incoming freshman Tori Blake, a 6-3 middle blocker who graduated early from her high school in Midland, Mich., this winter to join the Badgers in Madison.

Sheffield says it’s important for the fans to experience the Badgers’ growth along with the coaches and players.

“I wanted to take the fans along the ride with us,” Sheffield said. “To see those progressions, to see the individual players and the team come together. Hopefully that builds some enthusiasm and excitement for them. Because the really fun thing for me right now is not what we’re not doing – the fun part is seeing those improvements every day.”

Wisconsin will have two more spring matches after Saturday, taking on Green Bay April 6 and Milwaukee April 9, both at the Field House.

In addition to free admission Saturday, fans can also enjoy free parking in lots 17 and 19.

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