Badger volleyball heads to Seattle

First trip to national semifinals since 2000

Published On: Dec 16 2013 09:46:08 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 17 2013 07:23:07 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

No one gives the Wisconsin Badger volleyball team much of a chance against defending champion and number one overall seed Texas in the NCAA national semifinals in Seattle-- except, perhaps, the Badgers.

Wisconsin will play in the semifinals for the first time since 2000 Thursday when they face the Longhorns at 6:30 pm Madison time.

Penn State faces Washington in the other semifinal with the winners meeting for the national championship Saturday night at 8:30 pm Madison time.

It's been a challenging season for the Badgers who battled through injuries early on.

"At one point," says head coach Kelly Sheffield, "we were losing a body every 23 minutes. If you owned any stock in boots or braces, you were making a killing off our program."

But the Badgers have built a 27-9 record and are two wins away from a national title.

Sheffield said, "I can tell you this - we're not going out there to check out the fish market. We're going out there to win the national championship like the other three teams are."

Those other three teams have only two losses this season compared to nine for Wisconsin.

Because of that, the Badgers have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Freshman Lauren Carlini said, "we're going to go out there and battle no matter who's on the other side of the net."