Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - April 3, 2014

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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28 // VARSITY April 3, 2014 BADGERING LAUREN CARLINI Freshman Lauren Carlini has had a busy offseason. The All-American took some time off from the court after the Badgers' NCAA runner-up finish in December, but the 6-foot-2 setter attended USA Volleyball National Team tryouts in February and was selected to train with the national team in May and June in Anaheim, Calif. She is the first active UW player to be selected to the training team. What have the months since your NCAA runner-up finish been like? "Since we were in the national championship, the team has been up to a lot of different things. First, we all went home for break and, personally, I had to pretty much shut it down and take a break from volleyball. Once we got back to school in January, we had an amazing banquet and we got back into the swing of things by having early morning lifts, followed by individual skill training sessions a few times a week. I think the best part of team practices is seeing how everyone has improved in certain aspects of the game with the individual sessions. School has also been challenging this semester but it is nice to have a little extra time to study and do homework, compared to the fall season." How was attending USA National Team tryouts with teammates Taylor Morey and Dominque Thompson? "I think it was a great experience for all of us. We got to compete against some of the best players in the country and it challenged us to adjust to other players' games quickly. It was also fun being able to talk with all the other players about what their college experience is like and about volleyball in general. You can never get enough! I loved being able to compete in that environment and I'm extremely grateful to have been able to experience the tryout." What are you looking for from national team training? "I am hoping to get a jumpstart on my dreams and future goals by putting myself ahead of the training curve. I hope to be able to learn some valuable lessons and I want to see for myself what it takes to compete at the national team and Olympic team level. It will be extremely challenging, both men- tally and physically, but I hope to adjust quickly and compete at a high level while still being a student of the game. I can't wait to bring everything I learn in Anaheim back to Madison and share it with my team." Are you already looking forward to the 2014 season this fall? "There are no words to explain how excited my team and I are for the 2014 season. I honestly don't believe there is a hungrier team than us going into next season. Losing in the national championship is a hard pill to swallow, but once you get past the heartbreak, the desire and determination that results is like no other. We do not want that to happen again. I think that is the mindset that the 2014 Badgers are taking ― leave nothing to chance and do the hard, extra work now, so that when the big time comes there is no doubt in anyone's mind that we are winning."

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