MADISON, WI (WKOW) -- A new era has been ushered in for Badgers Women's Volleyball. Kelly Sheffield has taken over as head coach, bringing with him 12 years of coaching experience.
He was hired to replace Pete Waite, who was forced to resign Nov. 26 after 14 seasons as coach of the Badgers.
Sheffield and the university are hoping that experience can help the team make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.
Sheffield comes to UW from the University of Dayton. The veteran coach has led his teams to seven straight NCAA tournaments.
He's also walking into a program with the fourth ranked recruiting class this year, according to PrepVolleyball.com's annual rating. That class also includes the nation's top recruit and last year's national player of the year, freshman setter Lauren Carlini.
Carlini originally committed to UW in her freshman year of high school. Despite the coaching change, she never had any hesitation about her decision.
For the first time since the 2011 season, Wisconsin received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll. The Badgers received 17 points, ranking them 37th, in the preseason poll.
Wisconsin opens its season on Aug. 30-31 at the Pepperdine Invitational in Malibu, Calif. The Badgers home season kicks off on Sept. 13-14 with the 22nd-annual InnTowner Invitational.
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