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NCAA volleyball player of the year watch — The upward trajectory of Wisconsin Badgers middle blocker Dana Rettke

“nose kill” against Illinois that made the rounds on social media.

“That was so funny,” she said. “What are the odds of that happening?”

When Rettke first arrived on campus the spring of her high school senior year, Sheffield had every intention of giving her a redshirt season. But she was too good for that. The trajectory upward continues.

“I didn’t really expect much of myself,” she said. “Last year I didn’t understand why I would do certain things in a situation. Now I understand changing things on the floor, seeing the court more, seeing the block in front of me, seeing the ball and maybe changing the play.”

Her goal now is certainly high enough: She plans to do everything in her power to lead No. 7 Wisconsin (14-4, 7-3) to its first NCAA title.

“When you think she’s been playing this game for five years, it’s really remarkable the path she’s been on,” Sheffield said. “Every top team has an aircraft carrier. She’s our aircraft carrier.”

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