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.Badger volleyball welcomes top recruit