How to View and Open the Thread: Wisconsin Badgers Volleyball vs Nebraska

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My favorite old school word to describe a big fight is a “HUMDINGER”. So I’m here for a preview of tonight’s HUMDINGER between the No.6 Nebraska Cornhuskers and No.3 Wisconsin Badgers.

Both teams are in the top 10 in volleyball polls and the top two in the conference – set up by huge wins from both teams over Purdue for the Huskers and over Ohio State and Penn State for Wisconsin. Nebraska are still undefeated in the conference at 10-0, while Wisconsin is 9-1, so the winner of this game is in control of the title. #analytic

If you look at the weekly volleyball awards for the Big Ten, they’re all in a certain shade of red and white. Dana Rettke took home the player of the week honors while Sydney Hilley again took the passer of the week honors. Meanwhile, first-year Nebraska Libero Lexi Rodriguez won defensive player of the week and freshman of the week and their passer Nicklin Hames (big name for a Justified character, strange name for a volleyball player) also won the title of passer of the week.

Nebraska came into force after some struggles early in the season. Star forward Madi Kubik averages 3.38 kills per set while Lauren Stivrins came back for the Huskers after an injury early in the season to kick the offense yet another. Along with Rodriguez, Nebraska’s other key defenders also have big names: Kenzie Knuckles and Keonilei Akana.

We know the Badgers will use a heavy dose of Rettke to attack the Huskers and a steady diet from first year Julia Orzoł, fifth year Grace Loberg and possibly second year Jade Demps on the outside, while also asking for Devyn Robinson and Anna Smrek from work in the middle.

Devyn Robinson is working.
Wisconsin Athletics

Libero Lauren Barnes just won a career-high 29 caps against Penn State and fifth-year Giorgia Civita plays without ACL right like it doesn’t matter (insert “what? Like that’s a tough gif of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde). I think Civita and the Badgers should be given extra points as they play an ACL down.

Either way, it’ll be a lot of fun on Big Ten Network at 8:00 p.m. GST.

How to watch / listen

TV: BTN, 8:00 p.m. CT, Salima Rockwell, Larry Punteney

Diffusion: FOX Sports app

Radio: Listen live on U100.9 FM

Arena: Devaney Center, Lincoln, Neb.

Fun facts (according to media guides)

  • Wisconsin is on a nine-game winning streak, its longest of the season. The Huskers are on a 10-game winning streak, their longest of the season.
  • Nebraska lead the all-time series at UW, 19-7-1, but the Badgers have won five straight games against the Huskers heading into Wednesday night’s showdown.
  • UW, ranked No.3 this week, has been ranked in the national poll for 130 straight weeks, including 33 straight weeks in the top 10.
  • The Badgers lead the Big Ten and are ranked fourth nationally, allowing their opponents to hit just .144 during the season.
  • The Badgers entered last weekend averaging 2.28 blocks per set, placing 12th in the Big Ten. After averaging 3.61 blocks per set against Ohio State and Penn State, Wisconsin moved up to sixth place in the conference with 2.47 blocks per set.
  • Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally with a .305 pass percentage. The Badgers are also second in the Big Ten and third nationally with 14.65 kills per set.
  • The Badgers also lead the conference in kills allowed (10.73), assists allowed (9.78) and recoveries allowed (12.16).
  • Fifth-year senior Lauren Barnes has posted double-digit digs in the last eight games, averaging 4.86 digs per set over the streak.
  • Fifth-year Dana Rettke leads the country with an individual hit percentage of 0.496. The 6-foot-8 center tackle also ranks fifth with 3.74 kills per set.
  • Rettke has 663 blocks, requiring 20 blocks to break the UW mark of 682 tips set by Heather Dodaro (1994-97). She is also on track to break the Badgers’ point record of 2256.0 set by Sherisa Livingston (1998-01). Rettke has 2,099.0 points, requiring 157 points to break the record.
  • Fifth-year senior Sydney Hiller is on track to break the all-time record for assists. Hilley has 5,442 assists, requiring 392 assists to break the record of 5,833 assists set by Laura Abbinante (1993-96).
  • Hilley leads the nation with 12.10 assists per set.
  • Rookie Julia Orzoł ranks second on the team with 3.48 kills per set while Wisconsin has three other hitters who average 2.2 kills per set: Grace Loberg (2.56), Devyn Robinson (2.37) and Lauren Jardine (2.21). In addition, Jade Demps (1.95) and Anna Smrek (1.57) also contribute offensively.
  • NU leads the conference with an attacking percentage of 0.283, 15.09 eliminations per set, 1.91 service aces per set, 13.91 assists per set and 17.48 digs per set in Big Ten games.


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