No. 13 Wisconsin did it again, upsetting the No. 2 team in the country in Nebraska. They made an even bigger statement with this victory than they did with their win over Penn State just three days ago, and remain undefeated in the Big Ten.
Nebraska hasn't been swept at home since 2014 against Stanford, and both of their losses this season have come at home in the Devaney Center.
The name of the game for Wisconsin was consistency, composure, and balance. Four Badgers had double-digit kills. You expect it from Dana Rettke and Grace Loberg, especially after the latter's performance on Wednesday. But tonight, Molly Haggerty hammered in 11 kills, and the unsung hero was Danielle Hart, who had 10 kills and an outstanding hitting percentage of .643.
Sydney Hilley also connected for 42 assists on the evening.
Every set was close; this wasn't a blow-out or complete domination for the Badgers. The Huskers offense actually hit really well, with a .336 hitting percentage in the loss. Normally, you don't see a hitting percentage that high in a sweep, but the Badgers hit .376 percent.
Lexi Sun performed for the Huskers, with 15 kills, and Jazz Sweet contributed a .524 hitting percentage and 13 kills.
The Badgers just had too many offensive weapons contributing and hitting consistently, and they never let up or lost composure, despite momentum shifts for Nebraska in their home arena.
The Badgers are now 3-0 in the Big Ten and have won five of their last seven matches. They may have made a case for themselves to make a big jump in the AVCA coaches poll on Monday, after upsetting the No. 5 team Penn State on Wednesday, and now the No. 2 team after a few losses early in the season.
Check out below for a set-by-set recap of tonight's sweep.
Wisconsin vs Nebraska- Score, live updates
Wisconsin secures sweep 3-0 over No. 2 Nebraska
Two huge kills from Loberg and Hart finish it off for the Badgers 25-22, and they secure the sweep and upset over the No. 2 team in the country. Wisconsin out-hit Nebraska .355 to .273 in the third set.
Third set: Wisconsin 22, Nebraska 20
The Huskers seemed as if they had control of this set for an extended period. Jazz Sweet delivered a monster kill for the Huskers, but no matter what Nebraska did, the Badgers never let up or fell out of reach. The Huskers were consistently re-taking the lead, until Wisconsin earned three consecutive points off of a kill from Loberg and then two errors from the Huskers. Now three away from winning the match.
Third set: Nebraska 13, Wisconsin 11
The Badgers showed an amazing defensive effort in a long rally. They finished off with the point, and shifted the momentum a little bit in their favor. Rettke followed it up with a kill to bring them within one, and the Huskers took a timeout to stop it while they were still ahead. Out of the timeout, Stivrins fired quickly for the Huskers, and then a Wisconsin service error put the Huskers up by two again.
Third set: Nebraska 8, Wisconsin 5
Sun has turned on the heat for the Huskers. Kubik showed a great defensive effort to keep the ball alive and give way for Sun's third straight kill to give Nebraska the momentum. Nebraska then gave the Badgers a point off of a service error, and then Sun went ahead and delivered three more kills. She has been unstoppable, and the Huskers took a three-point lead.
Wisconsin wins the second set: Wisconsin 25, Nebraska 21
Sydney Hilley connected to Duello and Haggerty to take the second set, 25-21. Hilley has been a consistent point for Wisconsin. The Badgers quieted the crowd in the Devaney Center after pulling this one out. They have been really good out of system and are hitting great. Both teams have outstanding hitting percentages, the Badgers at .500 and the Huskers at .469 in the second set.
Second set: Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 20
The Badgers are clicking. Rettke is spending sometime in the backcourt, and Danielle Hart has been putting up some points for Wisconsin. Nebraska doesn't let up though, and keeps firing. Madison Duello then got a big kill to put the Badgers two away from clinching the set.
Second set: Wisconsin 18, Nebraska 16
Ten ties and three lead changes. Nebraska is up by two one second, and the next, Wisconsin is up by two. The Badgers just went on a 4-0 run forcing the Huskers to take a timeout.
Second set: Nebraska 15, Wisconsin 13
So far, this set has just been a battle of "who has the better offense." Both teams have been hitting really well, but there hasn't been a lot of defense. The Huskers have two blocks, and the Badgers don't have any. It has been a tight set, with neither teams leading by more than two. The Huskers currently have the lead, with a big kill from Sun.
Second set: Wisconsin 7, Nebraska 7
The second set started out even, and then Rettke started swinging and gave the Badgers the lead with two kills. Nebraska then tied it up and Kubik continued to fire for the Badgers. She currently has six kills accompanied by a .417 hitting percentage. Sun also has six kills for the Huskers. The team hitting percentages have evened up and it shows, with a tied score and a neck-and-neck set.
Wisconsin takes the first set: Wisconsin 25, Nebraska 22
The Badgers went on a 4-0 run to get to set point including two kills by Rettke. Nebraska kept it alive with a kill by Stivrins, but then Haggerty finished it off for Wisconsin, and the Badgers take the first set.
First Set: Wisconsin 18, Nebraska 18
The Badgers woke up and went on a 4-0 run to make tie it up at 16. Nebraska took the lead back with another kill from Sun, and then two consecutive points from the Badgers tied it up again, and the Huskers called a timeout. We have a set on our hands. Both teams are firing, consistency and defense will now make the difference.
First Set: Nebraska 15, Wisconsin 12
The Huskers are on a 3-0 run off of a kill from Madi Kubik, a Wisconsin attacking error, and a kill from Lexi Sun. Nebraska is currently outhitting the Badgers .500 to .182.
First Set: Wisconsin 10, Nebraska 10
The Badgers first point came from right where they left off in Wednesday's win over Penn State, with a service ace. Nebraska and Wisconsin then alternated points, until Wisconsin took a two-point lead off of a kill by Grace Loberg and another service ace. Nebraska then responded and tied it back up 7-7 with a kill from Lexi Sun and Lauren Stivrins. The Badgers, though keep gaining the lead, and Nebraska keeps tying it up.
Pregame- 7:50 p.m.
Wisconsin is on the road at Nebraska to go for their second statement win this week. First serve is at 8:05 p.m. on Big Ten Network. Nebraska has only been defeated once this season, by Stanford, and are currently the No. 2 team in the country. However, Wisconsin has had one of the most challenging schedules, and just upset Penn State on Wednesday.
The Badgers are 7-4 on the season, but those four losses have come against Top 25 teams: No. 1 Baylor, No. 8 Washington (twice) and No. 10 Marquette.
Wisconsin just beat the fifth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in dominating fashion.
Dana Rettke has been a strong point for the Badgers all season. But it was Grace Loberg who starred in the win over Penn State, recording 21 kills and a .486 hitting percentage.
The Badgers defense and serving was the key in their last victory as well, and will be important in the matchup against an offensive powerhouse at Nebraska.
Here's how Nebraska and Wisconsin compare statistically.
Nebraska has a powerful offense. So Wisconsin will have to replicate what it did against Penn State to pull off an upset: get the Huskers out of their system and gain momentum swings.
Their defense will also have to respond to multiple areas of the Huskers' attack. With so many offensive weapons, the Badgers won't be able to zero in on anyone defensively.