It’s official: Wisconsin second-year student Molly Haggerty won’t play in the 2017 NCAA women’s volleyball season, a spokesperson for the school has confirmed. After having off-season surgery to repair a herniated disk in her lower back, she’ll instead sit out this year and apply for an extra year of eligibility at the end of her career (which would be the 2020 collegiate season).
Haggerty, an outside hitter from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was the 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an AVCA third-team All-American. She averaged a team-high 3.41 kills per set while playing in 31 of the 33 matches on the year. For the season, Haggerty put down 385 kills, 19 aces, 276 digs and 50 blocks.
Haggerty has been practicing full-time with the Badgers for at least the last 3 weeks.
The Badgers still have a deep roster of offensive weapons, including senior outside hitter Kelli Bates and 6’8″ freshman middle blocker Dana Rettke, each of whom have 143 kills this season. Next year, after Bates graduates, Haggerty should be able to slide right back into her spot in the starting lineup for what projects to be a very-experienced Wisconsin team in 2018.
“If we didn’t have the depth that we have she’d be playing, there’d be no question about it,” head coach Kelly Sheffield told Madison.com. Sheffield also said that in spite of her time back on the court, she’s 2.5 to 3 inches away from where her vertical was as a freshman.
Haggerty struck a positive tone after the news broke earlier today. She Tweeted out “Excited for this opportunity to train and come back stronger than ever. Even more excited to see this team grow and dominate this season!”
Excited for this opportunity to train and come back stronger than ever. Even more excited to see this team grow and dominate this season! ?? https://t.co/oUFJpm41aj
— Molly Haggerty (@haggerty_molly) October 3, 2017