Based on what I saw of an aggressive, all-out performance by the Badgers in a thorough demolition of the Iowa State Cyclones Friday in the second round of the NCAA volleyball championship - I believe this team will do a great job representing themselves and Wisconsin.
25 - 18, 25 - 15, and 25 - 21 barely touches the difference between the two teams on the court. Even in warm-ups the Wisconsin looked like a stronger, more confident squad.
Led by junior setter Lauren Carlini (left), the Badgers beat a tough Oregon team in round 1, and appeared ready to punch their ticket for Austin, Texas soon after after the first serve.
Carlini was a top recruit in the country when she chose Wisconsin. Now a third year player, she is getting attention as a possible Olympian.
Everything goes through her hands like a point guard controlling the action in basketball. Sets to players soaring to the net behind her lead to points.
I bet I've written this before, but the game at this level is unlike the volleyball we played in high school. The speed of the game and the velocity of the ball is something to behold in person.
One rally in particular stirred the near sell-out crowd in Wisconsin's venerable Field House. Iowa State's return was mis-hit by the Badgers going to the Iowa State side, but outside of the pole when Carlini caught up and hit it back to the Wisconsin end where it was hit over the net to the Cyclones.
It was part of a long rally and while Iowa State won the point, the crowd roared for the hustle on display.
Iowa State had a great season, but this wasn't their night.
Wisconsin played in the NCAA championship game two years ago where the lost to fellow B1G member Penn State.
This year, these Badgers have their eyes set on nothing but the top prize.
They continue the long dig toward their goal Friday in Austin against Florida.