Last Updated 11:37 PM, October 26, 2022

Wisconsin takes down No. 1 Nebraska in straight sets in national title rematch

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Experts Michella Chester and Emily Ehman break down all things college volleyball
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2:54 am, October 27, 2022

WISCONSIN SWEEPS THE TOP-RANKED NEBRASKA HUSKERS 🧹

The Wisconsin Badgers just took down the No. 1 Nebraska Huskers in straight sets. The No. 1 team has now gone down in two consecutive weeks. Wisconsin extended its win streak over Nebraska to NINE matches. It is the first time Wisconsin has taken down the top-ranked team in the nation since 1997, and the first time beating the No. 1 team in straight sets in program history. What a huge statement for the Wisconsin Badgers. 

The Badgers hit .324 in the third set against a defense that led the nation in opponent hitting percentage. Sarah Franklin responded to a tough outing against Michigan where she was pulled out of the match with one of her best performances this season. She worked the entire court, posting 21 kills on .381 hitting for a fantastic outing. On top of that performance, the Wisconsin serve was so tough tonight, putting pressure on Nebraska right out of the gates. They limited errors and had stellar defense both at the net and in the back court. 

The Badgers were the first to 20 in the third when Nebraska started to chip away one by one. Whitney Lauenstein went back to the service line and the Huskers looked to go on a big run, but Franklin again sent a bullet cross-court to squash any hope of a comeback. Bekka Allick, the Nebraska freshman phenom, picked up two in a row out of the middle for the Huskers but Wisconsin again responded. Julia Orzol tooled one off the block and Danielle Hart registered a kill to pick up match point. Ally Batenhorst fought one off, but Hart found the perfect spot across the net and secured the sweep. 

The Badgers have extended their winning streak to nine-straight matches this season, and have added a huge win over the No. 1 team in the nation. Overall, a huge statement for Wisconsin. The Badgers will likely surge in the rankings next week. They still have another top-10 opponent this week — a date with Minnesota on Saturday. The Badgers will look for redemption after getting swept by Minnesota earlier this season. 

2:44 am, October 27, 2022

Wisconsin looking for the sweep in Set 3

Wisconsin is not going to let up. This team is riding with the crowd momentum and keeping their foot on the gas pedal. It is ALL smiles on Wisconsin's side of the net as they look to sweep the top-ranked Huskers. The defensive display has been unbelievable, both at the net and in the back court. A 6-0 run gave the Badgers a 16-9 lead. 

Get ready for a Nebraska fight. I don't expect them to go down easily. 

2:22 am, October 27, 2022

Wisconsin prevails — takes second set despite huge Nebraska comeback

The Wisconsin Badgers now have a 2-0 lead against the No. 1 team in the nation. They took the second set 25-23 after slamming the door shut on a massive Nebraska comeback effort. Sarah Franklin is up to 15 kills on the match, hitting above .400. 

After the Badgers came out to a dominating start to the second set. the Huskers finally started to put it together on their side of the net. Nebraska's serve started to put some pressure on Wisconsin, and they were able to put together their first big run of the match. Down by 10, 22-10, the Huskers started a 10-1 to tie up the match at 23-all for the first tie since 2-2. The momentum was finally with Nebraska and the comeback was pretty incredible for playing in hostile environment. But just when it looked like Nebraska was back, the Badgers absolutely slammed the door shut. Two MAJOR blocks, back-to-back, gave Wisconsin set point, and then the set two win. 

The Huskers are now down two sets to none and face a MUST-win third set to avoid a sweep. Get ready to see the No. 1 team in the nation's response. 

2:19 am, October 27, 2022

The Huskers have responded with a 7-0 run of their own

The Huskers have woken up and are in the midst of a 7-0 scoring run of their own. The have cut the deficit to three points, down 22-19 late in set two. 

2:06 am, October 27, 2022

MAKE THAT A 7-0 RUN FOR THE BADGERS

The run has continued — the Badgers are now on a 7-0 run to take a 17-7 lead on the set. Total dominance in set two. A lot of that is because of their HUGE block — it is coming up so big right now for the Badgers. 

1:56 am, October 27, 2022

Wisconsin off to 🔥 start in second set

The Badgers are on a mission tonight. They just came out of the gates in the second set on fire, with a 7-3 start. A 3-0 run gave the Badgers a 13-7 lead, and the Huskers called a timeout to slow the roll. Nebraska is currently hitting -0.136 compared to Wisconsin's .176. Sarah Franklin is lighting it up after a tough last outing — she is ALREADY up to 11 kills on .450 hitting. She is a big difference right now. 

The Huskers have five attacking errors right now, giving way for these Wisconsin runs. Nebraska needs to establish their offense and establish it fast. 

 

1:43 am, October 27, 2022

Wisconsin takes 1-0 lead with 25-23 win in Set 1

The Badgers take the first set over the top-ranked Huskers. The Huskers just barely outhit the Badgers .220 to .217 with three less errors than Wisconsin, but lost the set nonetheless. Devyn Robinson and Sarah Franklin posted six kills apiece for the Badgers. The entire set was so fun to watch with crazy defensive plays all over the court. The blocking was insane — as expected.

A monster kill from Robinson gave the Badgers set point, but Nebraska fought off two set points. Sarah Franklin then tooled one off the block and John Cook ALMOST challenged the touch, but let it go. The Badgers took the lead for Nebraska's first set 1 loss in eight matches. 

1:19 am, October 27, 2022

Block party in Madison

The match is underway and it is already living up to the hype. The first set started out point-for-point until the Badgers went on a 5-0 run to take a 13-10 lead on the match. The block has been SO big on both sides of the net. That was to be expected for the two best defenses in the nation. The Badgers lead by a couple of points mid-way through the first set. 

8:43 pm, October 26, 2022

How to watch the top-5 matchup

Nebraska Volleyball

Who: No. 1 Nebraska vs. No. 5 Wisconsin
When: 9 p.m. ET 
Where: Madison, Wisconsin
How to watch: Big Ten Network

8:40 pm, October 26, 2022

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin, previewed

Wisconsin volleyball

Nebraska takes over the No. 1 slot then immediately faces a challenger in a top-five matchup. And on top of that... this is a REMATCH of the 2021 DI women's volleyball national championship. Remember the one where Wisconsin won its first-ever title in program history in a five-set thriller? Yes, that one. I couldn't be MORE excited for this matchup. 

The Huskers have a lot of familiar faces from last year's team, but Wisconsin looks fairly different. The Badgers do, however, still have the MOP of the national championship match — Anna Smrek, along with a few other players like Devyn Robinson, Jade Demps, etc. The new faces include Caroline Crawford, Sarah Franklin and could also include Danielle Hart, who was on the team last season but was injured. 

Nebraska has been rolling through its opponents so far this season. The Huskers are unbeaten in the Big Ten so far and have only one loss on the season to a top-10 team in Stanford. They have swept their last six opponents, and three of them were ranked. They have looked really balanced offensively and just overall have cleaned up their game as the season has progressed. Wisconsin has won eight since its loss to Minnesota earlier in Big Ten play. The Badgers are the second-best blocking team in the nation, but Nebraska leads in opponent hitting percentage. I think the match is going to come down to offense and execution. 

Nebraska is 19-11-1 all-time against Wisconsin, but the Badgers have won the last eight meetings between the two teams. The teams met three times last year, including the NCAA championship match on Dec. 18 in Columbus, Ohio. Wisconsin prevailed 3-2 after jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the decisive fifth set. Nebraska came back to get within two at 14-12, but it wasn't enough. All five sets were decided by two or three points. 

8:38 pm, October 26, 2022

Latest Power 10 rankings

Here is where both Nebraska and Wisconsin stand in my latest Power 10 rankings — Nebraska took over the No. 1 spot and Wisconsin came in at No. 8 with a huge opportunity to prove themselves against the Huskers. 

College volleyball rankings: Nebraska jumps to No. 1 spot
8:36 pm, October 26, 2022

Latest AVCA rankings

Just a few days after Nebraska was deemed the No. 1 team in the nation in the latest AVCA poll, they will be challenged by the fifth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. 

Through Games OCT. 23, 2022

RANK

SCHOOL

TOTAL POINTS

RECORD

PREVIOUS

1 Nebraska (48) 1572 18-1 3
2 Texas (14) 1506 15-1 1
3 San Diego (1) 1440 18-1 4
4 Louisville (1) 1411 18-2 2
5 Wisconsin 1304 15-3 5
6 Ohio State 1281 13-5 6
7 Pittsburgh 1262 20-2 8
8 Stanford 1217 14-4 7
9 Minnesota 1065 12-6 9
10 Georgia Tech 1012 15-4 10
11 Penn State 849 17-4 13
12 Purdue 818 15-5 12
13 Baylor 764 17-4 14
14 Florida 725 15-4 11
15 Creighton 679 18-3 18
16 Marquette 553 18-2 19
17 BYU 542 14-5 17
18 Oregon 533 13-5 20
19 Washington 505 15-5 15
20 Kentucky 466 12-6 16
21 Rice 355 18-2 21
22 Western Kentucky 261 21-2 23
23 Houston 190 19-2 24
24 Southern California 140 16-5 NR
25 UCF 117 17-1 NR