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Badgers volleyball earning high preseason praise

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There's no hiding from the expectations for the Wisconsin volleyball team this year. Fresh off a third-straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen, the Badgers earned the No. 4 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll.

"It's not something we shy away from," says head coach Kelly Sheffield. "We don't shy away from the rankings, but we just don't really talk about it. I'd say if you ask our players, some of them would use it as motivational juice. Others would probably sit there and yawn at it."

Certainly, the  players wouldn't be surprised by the lofty expectations. The Badgers finished last season ranked No. 10. They return 12 letterwinners from that squad, including six starters. So, even though the preseason ranking ties the highest ever for Wisconsin, the players spent little time dwelling on it.

"We don't pay much attention to it," says junior Lauryn Gillis. "He (Sheffield) just told us that we were fourth. I mean, if that's something that motivates you, great. If it doesn't, then don't worry about it. So, it's something that yes, we sort of know it's there, but we don't talk about it ever in the gym." 

American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Poll

1 Nebraska (60)

2 Texas (3)

3 Minnesota

4 Wisconsin

5 Kansas

6 Hawai'i

T-7 Washington

T-7 Southern California

9 Penn State

10 Florida

11 Stanford (1)


13 BYU

14 Illinois

15 Ohio State

16 Texas A&M

17 Florida State

18 Creighton

19 North Carolina

20 Purdue

21 Loyola Marymount

22 Western Kentucky

23 Louisville

24 Kentucky

25 Colorado State

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