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Badger volleyball faces tough schedule in 2013

<b>Head coach Kelly Sheffield has announced his first schedule at Wisconsin.</b>

Head coach Kelly Sheffield has announced his first schedule at Wisconsin.

May 6, 2013

2013 Printable Schedule

MADISON, Wis. – Fourteen teams that competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, including seven Big Ten Conference teams, highlight the 2013 University of Wisconsin volleyball schedule, head coach Kelly Sheffield announced today.

“You can probably make an argument that scheduling is one of the most important things that coaches have to do nowadays,” says Sheffield.  “The NCAA selection committee puts a lot of emphasis on not only wins, but the types of teams that you schedule as well.  Also, seeded teams are now guaranteed the opportunity to host the first and second rounds so, it’s not just the border-line NCAA tournament teams that have to pay close attention to how they are scheduling, it’s now everyone.”

The Badgers scheduled well this fall as nine teams ended the 2012 season ranked in the top 25 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, including three teams in the top 10. The schedule also features 14 teams that won 20-or-more matches last fall.

“The non-conference schedule for us is a challenging one, no question, but one that I think will help prepare us for the Big Ten schedule,” says Sheffield. “Seven of our 12 non-conference matches are against teams that were in the NCAA tournament last year and just about every team finished in the top half of the RPI.  We will be challenged every single tournament and that’s what I wanted for this team.”

Seven NCAA teams in non-conference play

Wisconsin opens the season on Aug. 30-31 at the Pepperdine Invitational in Malibu, Calif. UW will face Iona (10-19 in 2012), Delaware (16-14) and the host Waves (20-12), a first-round NCAA tournament team last fall.

The Badgers next three non-conference tournaments all feature two NCAA tournament teams.

Wisconsin travels to the North Dakota State Invitational on Sept. 6-7 where it will face Louisville (30-4), Northern Iowa (25-10) and the host Bison (13-18). Louisville and UNI both advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall with the Cardinals ending the season ranked 17th in the coaches’ poll.

Wisconsin hosts its only home tournament on Sept. 13-14 with the 22nd-annual InnTowner Invitational in the UW Field House. The Badgers take on Bowling Green State (22-11), Milwaukee (9-19) and Kansas (26-7) in the round-robin classic. Bowling Green and Kansas both advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall while the Jayhawks were ranked 25th in the final AVCA poll.

“I think Badger fans are going to love the InnTowner Invitational that we’ve put together,” says Sheffield. “Kansas returns almost its entire roster from a top-10 RPI team and should be even better this season.  Bowling Green is another NCAA Tournament team that should also be better with seven of their top players coming back.  Milwaukee is a team we played this spring and they are very well-coached, and gave us all that we could handle last month.”

The Badgers wrap up the spring season with a trip to the N.C. State Invitational on Sept. 20-21. UW takes on Virginia Commonwealth (25-6), Colgate (17-14) and the host Wolfpack (22-10) with N.C. State and Colgate being first-round NCAA competitors in 2012.

Big Ten play kicks off Sept. 27

UW opens Big Ten play on Sept. 27-28 by hosting Purdue (23-11) and Indiana (12-20) the first weekend. The Boilermakers were one of seven conference teams who ended the season ranked in the top 25 of the coaches’ poll and advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall.

“The Big Ten finished the year with seven teams in the top 22 of the coaches’ poll,” says Sheffield. “You don’t have to go any further than that to know it’s a monster of a league.  But what is awesome is that you can make an argument that most of the conference teams might be even better this year.  I hope the fans are as excited as I am for the start of the season!”

No. 5 Michigan (27-12) and No. 3 Penn State (33-3) were both final four teams last season while No. 8 Minnesota (27-8) and No. 7 Nebraska (26-7) competed in the elite eight. No. 16 Michigan State (23-10) and No. 15 Purdue advanced to the Sweet 16 while No. 22 Ohio State (23-11) lost in the second round.

Buy Tickets

Season tickets for the 2013 Wisconsin volleyball season will go on sale May 29. Current season ticket holders will receive communication on that day with instructions on how to purchase their season tickets online. Additionally, new season ticket holders may begin purchasing packages that same date. General admission season ticket plans start at $15 for youth/students/seniors with adult packages priced at $30. Reserved seats are $45 and the Family Season Ticket package is priced at $75. To receive information on purchasing season tickets when they become available, please email your contact information to ata@athletics.wisc.edu

Volleyball vs Minnesota
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