Former University of Michigan libero/serving specialist Tiffany Clark will transfer to the University of Wisconsin. Because she is transferring from one school to another within the same conference, she will sacrifice a year of eligibility and be unable to play until the fall of 2018. At that point, she will have 2 years of eligibility remaining.
The Benet Academy (Illinois) product made her first career start at libero near the end of the Wolverines’ season on November 15th against Michigan State. There, she recorded a team-high 17 digs. In total, she appeared in all 35 matches and had 18 starts, mostly in the back-row as a server and defensives specialist. She hasd 23 aces on the season, 3rd-most among Michigan players, and 239 digs (1.82/set). She played big in the team’s toughest matches of the season – including a 9-dig performance against #1 Nebraska, a 20-dig day against #9 Penn State, and a 10-dig day against her future team, then-#1 Wisconsin, on October 15th.
At 5’11” tall, Clark is a relatively tall libero. Oregon was also a finalist for her services.
Clark took a visit to Madison, where she made up her mind except for one hangup.
“I told Kelly in his office that if it wasn’t for that year I have to sit out, I would commit right now and I would not regret it at all,” Clark told madison.com. “I felt like it was the perfect school for me, but it was just that year that was holding me back. That was something I had to evaluate with my family. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Do the pros of this awesome school outweigh sacrificing playing for one year?”
“I visited Oregon and it was a great school, but it wasn’t the right fit for me,” she said. “I kept comparing it to Wisconsin and I realized that’s where my heart was. That was the best fit for me. That was the program I wanted to play for. I realized that, yeah, it’s a huge sacrifice but if I want to be on a team that will win a national championship, that’s the sacrifice I had to make.”
Clark’s most recent court action was as part of the Team USA U20 team that traveled to Costa Rica two weeks ago. The Americans won their first-ever U20 Pan American Cup at that tournament, and secured a bid for the U20 World Championships later this summer. Players from the Pan American Cup team are not guaranteed of a spot at the World Championships.
Wisconsin advanced to the Elite 8 of last year’s NCAA tournament, but lost a ton of contributors to graduation – including the country’s best setter Lauren Carlini. The one spot where the Badgers do have a ton of youth, though, is at the libero position. Last year’s starting libero, Amber MacDonald, has 2 years of eligibility remaining, and they’ve got liberos stacked up behind her with sophomores Sarah Dodd and M.E. Dodge in the same class as Clark.
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