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Waite wants to win for seniors

first_imgBrittney Dolgner will play her last two games as a Badger this weekend after a distinguished career.[/media-credit]After falling to Northwestern and Illinois this weekend, the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the second straight season. Saturday’s defeat marked the seventh loss in a row for the struggling Badgers, who had not lost seven consecutive matches since 1995. With the losses, the Badgers will finish with a record under .500 for the first time since 1992.Despite the struggles, head coach Pete Waite remains optimistic about the final two games of the season and hopes to send seniors Caity DuPont and Brittney Dolgner out with a pair of victories.“Even though we took two losses on the road this weekend, we’re still seeing bright spots in the line-up and people coming out and improving their games,” Waite said. “We’re looking to this weekend to be a big one for our seniors because it’s their last weekend with us and they’ve done some great things in the program and we want to go out in a great way for them.”Though both Purdue and Indiana have struggled this season, Waite knows that the Big Ten opponents will still provide a challenge for his team.“We’ve got two good teams coming in with Indiana and Purdue,” he said. “Purdue is the one who, early in the season, was predicted to be in the top four in the conference and they have not been. They have the personnel; they’re a very physical team. And Indiana is one of those teams we talked about before. We beat them in five at their place so it was very close and we’ve got a lot to deal with.”Seniors DuPont and Dolgner will play in their final games as Badgers this weekend. Waite recognizes what their presence and leadership has meant to his team both on and off the court.“Even in a season like this, they still think it has been a fun season,” Waite said. “As the only two upperclassmen, they can try and help this group get on track and help things go in the right direction.“Caity DuPont is a great leader off the court. She’s the kind that everybody flocks to and follows and is so responsible. She’s done everything we asked. On the court this year has been a little tough. She’s been a little bit up and down, but she just keeps plugging away. At Illinois on Saturday night, she had one of her best matches of the season.”Dolgner became the first Badger to record more than 1,500 kills, 1,000 digs and 200 blocks in her career and ranks third on the all-time list for kills.“Dolgner was an All-American her sophomore year,” Waite said. “Brittney is a phenomenal athlete and she’s done some great things for us so I know they both want to leave here with a couple of wins, feeling great about things.”With a disappointing season finally coming to a close, it can be tempting to look ahead to next year, but Waite is focused on finishing 2009 first.“We want to look to the future, but at the same time we don’t want to forget about the present, especially for our seniors this weekend,” he said. “We want them to go out on a high note so we won’t totally abandon the things we’re doing, but at the same time we want to be looking at the kids who are the on the court, the young ones. We’ve got three freshmen and a sophomore on the court right now, so that’s a very good sign.”Waite is also encouraged by the signing of three recruits announced last week, Annemarie Hickey, Dominique Thompson and Elise Walch.“We did sign some very, very good players that we’re excited about. Two out of the three won their state championships and were state players of the year. They’re going to add a lot to us next year. But right now, we’ve got to take care of the Big Ten final weekend, so we’ll look to the future, but not too soon.”last_img

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