Defending champion Wisconsin Badgers’ volleyball team added another piece to their 2022 recruiting class with international flair. The program announced Friday the addition of the 5-foot-5 libero Gülce Güçtekin (pronounced GOOL-chay GOOCH-teh-kin) to their 2022 recruiting class, adding a player with deep international experience to their back row with the libero shirt may be open.
We are so excited to FINALLY be able to share another member of our 2022 signing class, Gülce Güçtekin, with the world!!!
Welcome to the family, GG!! pic.twitter.com/jkCjBt3bYk
— Wisconsin Volleyball (@BadgerVB) January 21, 2022
Güçtekin hails from Istanbul, Turkey played for the Turkish national youth team for five years and was considered the best libero in Europe for the 2022 class.
Güçtekin was named Best Libero at the 2020 U19 European Championship as Turkey won the gold medal, and she also took the best libero honors in the 2019 U17 Balkan Championship and 2018 U19 Balkan Championships.
Güçtekin participated in Fenerbahce Sport Club from 2013-21 – and also played volleyball at Kadikoy Private Atacan High School – and currently plays for Sariyer Volleyball Club.
Looking at her highlights, it is immediately apparent that Guçtekin is an impressive defensive player. She makes a lot of incredible digs of all kinds of shots, looks really good in the reception and also plays with a great amount of passion. There were also a few instances where she showed off range as a passer, not just her ability to keep the ball off the floor.
Head coach Kelly Sheffield – in an excellent article by Dennis Punzel of the Wisconsin State Journal – said it was halfway through one of her highlights before he wanted to recruit Guçtekin to the Badgers.
“I am very excited to have Gulce joining us,” said Sheffield. “She is an exceptional talent and is very well trained. She has also played against a very high level of competition and the experience she brings in here is unique. Her defensive range is special and she has a great touch and feel for the ball.”
Güçtekin adds to a back row losing to incredible libero Lauren Barnes and defensive specialist Gio Civita. She will likely battle junior Joslyn Boyer, sophomore Sydney Reed, senior Anna MacDonald and sophomore Liz Gregorski for time in the back row, and maybe even make a claim for the libero jersey.
Güçtekin joins 6-foot-4 outside hitter Ella Wrobel as the Badgers’ second member in the class of 2022. Middle blocker Caroline Crawford also joined UW as a transfer from Kansas.