Throughout the 2017 preseason, VolleyMob.com will be joined by guest writers from last year’s Top 25 teams as well as other award winners and All-Americans. These bloggers will give you an inside look at their teams, preseason training, team leadership and much more.
Wisconsin middle blocker Tionna Williams shares about recovering from injury, playing on the Big Ten European Tour team and adjusting to new teammates in 2017. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native was a third team All-American and All-Big Ten selection in 2016 after averaging 2.27 kills per set, hitting at a .326 clip and putting up a team-best 1.27 blocks per set.
Wisconsin checks in at No. 7 in the AVCA Preseason Poll after ranking fifth in the final poll of 2016. The Badgers went 28-5, including a second place finish in Big Ten play, before going on to the NCAA Elite Eight.
The UW roster features just four upperclassmen: seniors Lauryn Gillis and Kelli Bates, captain Amber MacDonald and Williams. The team also features seven newcomers.
The Badgers have big shoes to fill with the graduation of standout setter Lauren Carlini, who recently signed a pro contract with Savino Del Bene Volley in the Italian Serie A1.
Check out Williams’ summer vacation and an inside peek at Wisconsin training camp below.
Hey volleyball fans,
It’s that time of the year again and I know you’re all as stoked as the Badgers are for the volleyball season to get started!
This summer has been one for the books. I was finally cleared to practice with my team after having to sit out for three months due to a stress fracture. On top of that, I had the amazing opportunity to play alongside some of the top players in the Big Ten Conference on the B1G European tour. Being able to experience new cultures while competing against some elite international teams was an incredible starting point to what is turning out to be a great preseason.
We have a fairly young team this year, so it is very important that we get off to a strong start and establish a championship mentality quickly. It will take a little longer to get used to playing with so many different people, but we have a great group of players that are willing to put in the work needed to help each other succeed.
The returning players have been doing a great job of setting the tone in our gym, and the freshmen are really starting to feel comfortable and more confident everyday. We all know that once we step onto the court, it’s go time, and there’s no room for negative attitudes or poor body language.
This season should be a fun one to say the least. We have a pretty tough conference schedule, but as we say in our gym… bring it! I can’t wait to suit up again and play in front of our fans (aka the best fans in the country), and show them what this team is all about.
The UW Field House has made some pretty cool changes since last season too. We now have a huge Jumbotron AND air conditioning! Hopefully we can keep selling out our matches, and continue to upgrade our home court. We can’t wait for our fans to experience a Badger volleyball game day.
Looking forward to opening the season in a few weeks.