Husker volleyball

Lauren Stivrins spikes the ball against Wisconsin at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Sept. 30, 2017.

The Nebraska volleyball team has been on a hot streak as of late. The Huskers won their last seven matches and only lost three sets in that frame. They also sit atop the Big Ten and are the only undefeated team in conference play, starting off 6-0.

NU will take on Wisconsin Oct. 11 in the second match of a three game road stretch. The Badgers will look to make a statement against the top dogs in the Big Ten Conference and will try to climb the ladder to make the conference tournament.

Nebraska has looked sharp recently and everything seems to be moving in the right direction for this team with high expectations. NU did not have the greatest start to the year, but since then it has been in top form, knocking off all Big Ten challengers so far. Wins against teams like Penn State and Minnesota were a great way for the Huskers to show the conference they are a force to be reckoned with.

Wisconsin looks to avenge its 3-2 loss to Nebraska on Sept. 30.

The Badgers had NU on their heels during that game, and went up 2-0 in front of a shocked crowd at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Wisconsin dominated the second set in particular, finishing off Nebraska 25-17. The Huskers found a way to turn it around and picked up wins in the final three sets to grab the win. 

Strong play by outside hitters Annika Albrecht and Mikaela Foecke made the difference against Wisconsin in its first meeting of the season and they will both need to be at the top of their game if the Huskers hope to win the season series.

Freshman Jazz Sweet has also made a name for herself as of late and will be a big factor in NU’s potential success this Wednesday. On defense, specialist Kenzie Maloney will be the backbone for Nebraska. She is currently ranked No. 6 in the Big Ten in average digs per set with 4.18.

Wisconsin will rely on freshman standout Dana Rettke and senior outside hitter Kelli Bates for points against Nebraska. Rettke leads the Badgers in kills this season with 169, and Bates had an impressive performance against NU in their first meeting, recording 20 kills in the match.

Middle blocker Tionna Williams has been a reliable source for points for Wisconsin and ranks third in the Big Ten in hitting percentage. Offense will be the key to victory for Wisconsin and its firepower must be on full display if they want to defeat Nebraska.

This matchup is a tale of two seasons. Nebraska has been on a roll as of late, but started the season off somewhat slow. The team has come into its own recently and have found a way to win against quality opponents.

Wisconsin on the other hand had a great start to its season, but fell behind recently, with disappointing conference losses to Minnesota and were swept in a two game series by Michigan State. A big win over the Huskers is just what a struggling Badgers team needs.

Home court advantage will be a major factor for the Badgers this Wednesday, as they return home from a trip to Michigan State. Wisconsin almost defeated NU at the Devaney Sports Center and the raucous crowd in Lincoln was surely a factor in the Huskers’ impressive comeback.

Now, Nebraska will need to win this big matchup without its supportive fans in enemy territory. The Huskers are also in the middle of a challenging Big Ten road stretch and will need to play smart and to their strengths to ensure they will have the energy to finish off their opponents.

The Huskers’ quest to top the Big Ten Continues Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. The match will be broadcasted on BTN.