View Gallery (2 Photos)Freshman Allison Wack’s ability to play volleyball wasn’t acquired over time; it was in her blood. Her aunt, Darla, played volleyball at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her brother, Nate, played for University of California-Santa Barbara. Now, she joins her sister Jocelyn as a starter for the ninth ranked Badgers.”There was never any pressure [to play volleyball]. I was dragged to the gym growing up, and that’s where I’ve always been,” Wack said.Wack earned the starting job because of her outstanding play coming off the bench. Against Michigan last Saturday, she had 10 kills despite playing a reserve role. Her best game of the year was against Loyola Marymount in September when she totaled a career-high 18 kills.Wack’s season averages rank among the best on the team. She is averaging 2.58 kills per game, which is second on the team. She also averages .45 blocks per game.Head coach Pete Waite said that her early-season success comes from being around the game so much when she was younger. Because both her older siblings played volleyball, Wack was immersed at a very young age. When she played club volleyball in high school, Waite said, she always played up an age group. Wack’s accomplishments can also be attributed to her ability to adapt to a much faster game. She said that the major difference between high school and college volleyball is the speed. Also, she has had to change some aspects of her game because of the parity among college-level volleyball players. “In high school, I pretty much hit around the block for the most part, and now I’m just using the block,” Wack said. “I’m just swinging for the hands and trying to find shots. For me, for blocking, you have to get up way earlier, and you have to be stronger. It’s a huge change between high school and club to here.”Although Wack has had a lot of success early in the season, she knows there is still a lot to improve on. She cites serving as one aspect of her game that needs work. The one serve she has attempted this season went into the bottom of the net. Also, she said she needs to work on her blocking and adapt to her relatively short size, or her “un-size” for a hitter in college volleyball. “There are always little things,” Wack said. “Any player always criticizes [herself] and finds things that [she wants] to improve on.”Sophomore Caity DuPont, who has played with Wack since middle school, has been fighting for the starting outside hitter position as well. She says the competition that she and Wack have in practice helps elevate both their games. “I think it’s really good that we have to compete at every practice,” DuPont said. “Every time we scrimmage, it’s a full out battle because there is just that one spot open, and we are both fighting for it. So, it’s really good for us for every practice. We have to come in and have so much intensity. You can’t take any day for granted, and you can’t be lazy at any time.”Having a bench with so much depth has contributed to the success that the team has had so far this season. When DuPont or Wack comes into the game, it adds a spark to the team when it needs it most. “It’s great to have some depth because, you know, some people are going to have some off days and are going to be tired,” Waite said. “Sometimes we are going to need to change the momentum if the team isn’t playing well. So, they both come in and charge us up and give us some points.”Having an older sister on the team has also helped Wack adapt to not only playing college volleyball, but getting used to the chaotic life of a collegiate athlete. “Jo is going to be able to help her as classes go on here and just make sure she is up to speed and keeping up with things early because you don’t want to get behind in any of your classes,” Waite said. “You know, we have already been on the road for three weeks, so she is getting used to that. So, Jo is helpful, and Al has been able to experience, on the sideline as a high school player, Jo go through it.”When Wack first arrived on campus, Jocelyn made sure that she was comfortable and got used to living the life of a college athlete. For example, Jocelyn took her younger sister on a moped ride throughout campus to make sure she knew where she was going. On the court, Jocelyn has played the “mentor role” for her little sister.”[Jocelyn] has been around the game for a long time, and she’s just happy for the good things that Al is doing right now,” Waite said. “She’s going to want her to be as good as possible and as fast as possible.”Wack said that having her sister at Wisconsin was a big factor in deciding to join the program. The Wack sisters are the first sibling tandem to play for the team since 2000. The sisters are very supportive of each other, but remain very competitive. “We like to keep the game fun, but we get in each other’s head a little,” Allison said.