Wisconsin volleyball beats Baylor 3-1 in top 10
Baylor absolutely loaded their non-conference schedule to start the season. The Bears will have faced another top Big Ten team the night before, Minnesota. And after Wisconsin, they will face Pittsburgh and Florida. This Baylor team is clearly looking to compete with the best of the best season. The Bears burst onto the scene in 2019, ranked in the top-five for most of the season, clinched the No. 1 seed in the tournament and reached the domestic semi-finals. Much of this was down to Yossiana Pressley, who won the 2019 National Player of the Year award. The 2019 season looked like a highlight of Pressley at times, just looking week after week at how high Pressley could jump. The Bears ultimately fell to Wisconsin in the semifinals, led by Dana Rettke and her team.
Then came last season, the 2020 season played which ended in the spring of 2021. The Bears lost a few support players and fell a bit. They ultimately ended the season as the nation’s No.13 team, a far cry from their final No.3 ranking in 2019. The Badgers, however, were back in the domestic semifinals. The two teams haven’t played since the 2019 game.
The Badgers make (almost) the whole lot. Rettke, the exceptional 6-foot-8 center blocker, Sydney Hilley, her roommate and All-American passer, and Grace Loberg and Devyn Robinson at the pins. Robinson became an important player for the Badgers last season in her debut, and it should be exciting to see how she plays out this year. They have lost Molly Haggerty, a key part of their attack over the past four years.
So if the Bears fell from the top 10 last season and the Badgers are coming back to pretty much everyone after reaching the semi-finals, why are we so excited for this game? Well, there is one key point that I have failed to mention so far. Baylor received a huge boost in the offseason thanks to the transfer of Avery Skinner, the star outside hitter who just played a big role in Kentucky’s 2020-21 National Championship just a few months ago. So this weekend, and those two huge Baylor clashes, marks the debut of Pressley’s duo, Skinner.
Usually in our overviews we compare some stats, recent wins and losses etc. Since it’s opening weekend, we obviously can’t see how they match up statistically. Especially since there’s no way to gauge what Baylor’s new and improved stats will be with their new look. Instead, I’ll highlight some of the best players to watch in the game:
Yossiana Pressley – Pressley is just a phenomenal player. She averaged 4.69 kills per set last season.
Avery Skinner – Skinner averaged 3.81 kills per set last season on an incredibly balanced National Championship squad while hitting 0.350.
Hannah sedwick – Sedwick averaged seven assists per set last season.
Dana rettke – The four-time American AVCA first team athlete and Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year typically leads Wisconsin as a central blocker. She’s also a huge threat at the net. Rettke averaged 1.5 blocks per set last season and led his team with 84 blocks.
Sydney hilley –Hilley averaged 10.88 assists per set last season as the Badgers’ QB.
Devin Robinson – Robinson was a big addition to the Badgers’ offense last season, contributing 2.71 kills per set on 0.426, extremely accurate, hitting.
Grace Loberg – Loberg is another key part of the Badgers offense. When she rolls, it’s a good sign for the Badgers. Loberg averaged 2.75 kills per set last season.