Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (2024)

JWS Staff

Nov 29, 2022

Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (1)

Defending champion Wisconsin volleyball ended its regular season on an 18-match winning streak.

The Badgers have not lost since Sept. 25, even as the team endured a tough Big Ten schedule and the turmoil of a photo leak investigation, and now they enter the NCAA tournament with a 25-3 overall record and the No. 1 seed.

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙤𝙖𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙊𝙢𝙖𝙝𝙖 begins now.

Badgers earn the No. 1 Seed in the Top Right Region. pic.twitter.com/BPSfSPSNHc

— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) November 28, 2022

The University of Wisconsin athletic department announced on Oct. 19 the investigation into a a leak of private photos and videos of Badgers women’s volleyball players, which were then shared on the internet.

At least one of the photos appears to have been taken after the team won the Big Ten title last November and shows members of the team posing with their sports bras lifted, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The athletic department called the leak a “significant and wrongful invasion” of the athletes’ privacy. Yet even after the off-court issue, which highlighted the vulnerable position of college athletes, the Badgers continued to roll.

Wisconsin finished its conference season Saturday with a 3-1 win against Ohio State, clinching a 19-1 conference record and theBig Ten title. The only loss came on Sept. 25 against Minnesota.

“There was so much learning that came from our one loss against Minnesota,” coach Kelly Sheffield said. “That was really important for where we are right now. There was so much opportunity for us to learn throughout the course of the year and I am so proud of them.”

The 18-match winning streak is tied for the second-longest winning streak in program history. The 19-1 conference record is tied for the best conference record in program history.

Wisconsin already has sold out all-session tickets to its first- and second-round matches in the NCAA tournament. The Badgers will start their quest for a repeat title at 8 p.m. ET Friday against Quinnipiac.

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    Emma Hruby

    May 17, 2024

    Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (2)

    The New York Liberty dominated Indiana on Thursday night, winning by a whopping 36 points in the Fever's home opener.

    A sold-out crowd of 17,274 was in attendance to watch as star rookie Caitlin Clark finished the 102-66 defeat with nine points, seven rebounds, and six assists. It’s the first time since January 2021 — her freshman season at Iowa — that Clark's been held to single-digit scoring.

    "The physicality is definitely up there... I'm easily pushed off screens," she told reporters after the loss. "The game seems a little fast for me right now. The more I play and the more comfortable I get, it's going to slow down a little bit. It will be easier for me to make reads, see things develop."

    The Fever were outscored by a combined margin of 57 points in their first two games — the largest two-game point deficit in WNBA season-opening history, according to @ESPNStatsInfo.

    "We've got to get to a level of toughness," Fever coach Christie Sides in her own postgame remarks. "When things are going south on us, we're not stopping the bleeding."

    "I have great perspective on everything that happens," Clark added. "It was the same in my college career. There were some moments that were absolutely amazing. And there were some moments I was not happy with how I played and how my team performed. That's just life, that's just basketball."

    Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, who herself experienced a rocky rookie season following a much-hyped college career, offered up some insight on the matter.

    "In this league, there are tough defenses all centered around not letting you get the ball, trapping, not letting you score," Ionescu said. "There were many factors that played into what was a tough first season for me in the league, but it helps you be able to figure it out. You have to have those experiences."

    But it was reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart that truly stole the show, racking up 31 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks on the night.

    "In general, I just wanted to come out more aggressive coming off of last game," Stewart said after putting up the 24th 30-point game in her career.

    Stewart she also commended the fans inside Indianapolis's packed Gainbridge Fieldhouse, noting that she hopes that level of support to continue across the WNBA.

    "This is how you want every game to be and when it's a sell-out crowd, it gives you a similar playoff atmosphere feel," she said. "People want to be a part of this and the thing now is to continue to sustain it, continue to take the momentum that we have and turn it into something more."

    Emma Hruby

    May 17, 2024

    Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (3)

    WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert admitted to a "faulty rollout" of the new charter travel initiative on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    Ahead of Tuesday's season opener, it was announced that the only teams flying private this week would be Indiana and Minnesota. The announcement came mere days after the league made a new charter flight program for all WNBA teams public. At the time, they said it would be implemented "as soon as we have the planes."

    But as two teams out of 12 chartered to their first games of the season, others like the Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky were forced to fly commercial.

    A town hall meeting between Engelbert and the players was held in response to the confusion. Everything from the league's new media rights deal to private travel was covered in the meeting, with players submitting their questions ahead of time. Sky center Elizabeth Williams told Sun-Times reporter Annie Costabile afterwards that cross-country flights were prioritized.

    "Flights that are across the country like [the Lynx] going to Seattle, crossing multiple time zones, or flights that usually require a connection, those were the priorities," Williams said. "That’s why New York didn’t go to DC with a charter, but Minny goes to Seattle."

    What’s unclear under that metric is that the Atlanta Dream played the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday, which could technically be classified as a cross-country flight.

    On Tuesday, rookie forward Angel Reese shared a photo on her Instagram story lamenting the league's use of commercial flights.

    "Just praying that this is one of the last commercial flights the Sky has to fly," Reese posted. The team still has at least three commercial flights awaiting them in the near future.

    "Obviously, I think all teams should be able to get chartered," Reese told the Sun-Times. "But I know moving forward... going in the right direction, being able to have some teams [chartering] is cool. Within the next weeks, everybody will be flying charter, which will be really good."

    On Thursday, Lindsay Schnell of USAToday Sports confirmed that the league intends to have all teams on charter flights by May 21st.

    Emma Hruby

    May 17, 2024

    Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (4)

    Brazil has been named the host for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with FIFA announced early Friday.

    The decision came after a vote at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, with Brazil earning 119 votes to the joint European bid’s 78.

    This will be Brazil’s first time hosting the Women’s World Cup, with the country having hosted the men’s World Cup twice before in 1950 and 2014. It will also be the first Women’s World Cup held in South America. The tournament will follow the same 32-team format as the 2023 WWC in Australia and New Zealand.

    Brazil winning the bid was not entirely surprising after FIFA issued a report just last week, stating that the Brazilian bid had pulled ahead as host following technical inspection. After evaluation, Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5, compared to the 3.7 awarded to the Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

    Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. Though considered to be a frontrunner, the US and Mexico withdrew their joint bid prior to the technical inspection period, saying they would instead focus their efforts on 2031.

    On Friday, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues called it a "victory."

    "We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women's soccer and for women," he told reporters. "You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women."

    "We are working on a transformation, not only for the country but for the continent," added bid team operational manager Valesca Araujo.

    Brazil intends to use 10 of the venues utilized at the 2014 men’s World Cup, including holding the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 25th. The CBF's proposal outlines that the 2027 tournament run from June 24th through the end of July. Last summer’s World Cup began at the end of July and concluded on August 19th.

    Another notable element of Brazil's newly unveiled plan to grow of the women’s game is that "all [men’s] clubs wishing to take part in high-level national and continental competitions must now provide a structure for a women’s team." While the definition of "structure" was not specifically identified, the country has set targets with CONMEBOL to help increase the number of women’s club teams in the country.

    In last week's inspection findings, FIFA noted that selecting Brazil as the next WWC host could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

    Emma Hruby

    May 16, 2024

    Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (5)

    Chelsea did what they needed to do on Wednesday in order to make Saturday's slate of season-ending WSL fixtures interesting: Beat Tottenham.

    The Blues are now number one in the league, with an edge over Manchester City on goal differential thanks to an eight-goal outing against Bristol City last week.

    Yesterday's result tees up a league finale for the books as Chelsea looks to send coach Emma Hayes off with another trophy to add to her cabinet. The Blues will play FA Cup winner Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, while City is away at Aston Villa.

    "We will be leaving nothing on the pitch, we will be giving everything and no matter what the result is," Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert said after Wednesday's win. "At least we can look each other in the eye and say we gave everything."

    It makes for a thrilling end to Chelsea's Emma Hayes era, as the decorated WSL coach will take over the USWNT in June. And it comes after Hayes all but conceded the title race early this month after Chelsea fell to Liverpool 4-3.

    "I think the title is done," Hayes said at the time. "Of course, mathematically, it's not, but I think the title is done. Our job between now and the end of the season is to keep pushing until the end, but I think it will be very difficult.

    "We will never give up. But the title is far from us; it's not in our hands. I think City are deserving, their consistency has put them in that position. Of course, we will go to the end, but I don't think the title will be going to us this year."

    Be it mind games or Hayes truly thinking her team was that far off, her words lit something in Chelsea. Their following two performances showed the team’s determination to have a shot at some silverware.

    As for Saturday's schedule, Hayes believes her team is facing the "tougher of the two games."

    "It's a fitting finale for me, being my final game," she told BBC Sport. "As I said to the players if someone gives you a second chance in life, make sure you don't need a third one. We're in the position we want to be in, and we'll give it everything on Saturday no matter what."

    Wisconsin volleyball remains undefeated since photo leak scandal - Just Women's Sports (2024)


    Has there ever been an undefeated women's volleyball team? ›

    Long Beach State — 42 matches (1998-99) Misty May, Long Beach State women's volleyball. Long Beach State posted an undefeated 1998 campaign — the first NCAA volleyball program to do so — and continued this unprecedented streak through September 1999.

    How did the Wisconsin girls volleyball team get leaked? ›

    Explicit photos of the Wisconsin's women's volleyball team leaked online last week, which prompted a police investigation, had reportedly originated from a player's phone. The University of Wisconsin released a statement on Oct.

    What happened to the Wisconsin women's volleyball team? ›

    Wisconsin finishes the 2023 season with a 30-4 record. Texas will face Nebraska in the NCAA national championship on Sunday at 2 p.m. on WISN 12. The Wisconsin Badgers women's volleyball season ended Thursday night after falling to Texas 3-1 in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in Tampa, Florida.

    Did the Wisconsin volleyball girls get in trouble? ›

    The girls are not under investigation. "UWPD is investigating multiple crimes, including sharing sensitive photos without consent," the statement read. "UWPD is not investigating the volleyball student-athletes for wrongdoing in this matter."

    Who is the best women's volleyball team of all time? ›

    Stanford is the most successful program in DI women's college volleyball history with nine national championships.

    Who is the best girl in volleyball? ›

    Women's Volleyball
    1Ifenna Cos-OkpallaTexas A&M
    2Emma MonksPittsburgh
    3Asjia O'NealTexas
    31 more rows
    Jan 2, 2024

    What happened to Giorgia Civita? ›

    Giorgia Civita played three seasons at Wichita State before missing the 2019 season with a torn ACL. Who says you can't play top level college volleyball with a torn ACL?

    Has Wisconsin women's volleyball ever won a national championship? ›

    They won a national title in 2021.

    What is the movie about the Iowa girls volleyball team? ›

    The Miracle Season - Wikipedia.

    How tall is Sarah Franklin in Wisconsin volleyball? ›

    Franklin, a 6-foot-4 senior from Lake Worth, Fla., who is known as “Frank the Tank,” is coming off a two-week stretch in which she was named the Big Ten player of the year and the MVP of her region in the NCAA Tournament.

    What is a libero in volleyball? ›

    volleyball. libero, player on an indoor volleyball team who serves as a defensive specialist and is not allowed to serve or rotate to the front line. The libero wears a different colour jersey from the rest of the team and is thus easily recognizable. There are several other unique rules regarding the position.

    Who beat Wisconsin in womens volleyball? ›

    Texas defeated Wisconsin 3-1 to advance to the 2023 NCAA volleyball championship match. Watch the full semifinal match highlights here.

    How much does the Wisconsin women's volleyball coach make? ›

    2 University of Wisconsin's Kelly Sheffield earns $474,445, according to his most recent contract salary, set in 2022. That ranks behind figures for John Cook of No. 1 Nebraska and Jerritt Elliott of No.

    How tall is Anna Smrek from Wisconsin volleyball? ›

    She's the tallest player in Wisconsin history

    At 6-9, she's the tallest player in UW history, just a nudge taller than five-time All-American and former teammate Dana Rettke.

    Where did Sarah Sponcil go to high school? ›

    Sponcil was a four-year letterwinner at Veritas Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Ariz. ... earned All-American accolades in each of her final three seasons ...

    Who is the number 1 women's volleyball team in the world? ›


    Has there ever been an undefeated women's basketball team? ›

    While there have been 10 individual instances of undefeated seasons, there are only five programs to record a perfect season: Baylor, UConn, Tennessee, Texas and most recently, South Carolina in 2024. UConn has six undefeated seasons while Baylor, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas all have one.

    What is the fastest volleyball hit for a woman? ›

    Fastest spike in volleyball for women? Paola Egonu currently currently holds the women's world record for spike speed of 112.7 km/h. The Italian hit the speedy mark in the first set of the Volleyball Nations League final against Brazil in July 2022.

    Who is the most famous volleyball girl? ›

    1. Misty May-Treanor. Misty May-Treanor is a retired American player considered one of the best and most successful female beach volleyball players of all time. She has won 112 tournaments and international competitions.


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