After four years with the Wisconsin Badgers and playing a number of different roles with the team, Kelli Bates finally recorded her 1,000th kill of her collegiate career. The kill came in the second set against Ohio State at home to bring the Badgers to a 9-8 lead over the Buckeyes.
Not only has Bates reached the 1,000 kill mark, she is also now a part of an elite club of collegiate players that have recorded both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in their careers.
Over the course of Bates’ career with Wisconsin, her role has changed a number of times. In her freshman and sophomore campaigns, Bates was a regular feature in the front row. Her freshman year saw her put down 331 kills for an average of 2.85 kills per set along with 267 digs while she added in another 366 kills and 318 digs her sophomore year.
Her junior year is when her role really fluctuated. With a strong freshman class coming in for the Badgers, Bates’ front row time dwindled and eventually ceased but her back row presence picked up. Head coach Kelly Sheffield moved the strong outside attacker in Bates to the libero position where she picked up 485 digs on the year for an average of 3.98 digs per set.
With Molly Haggerty sidelined this season due to a back injury and her being a veteran on the squad, Sheffield moved Bates back to the front row while keeping her a strong presence in the back row. Her 1,000th dig came last season, but she continues to build upon that number and will now pad her kills with a long stretch of the 2017 season left to come for the Badgers.
Congratulations @kellibates04 on 1,000 kills for your career! pic.twitter.com/5KSry7x8CJ
— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) November 4, 2017