Last Updated 10:36 AM, November 24, 2023

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin volleyball: Preview, how to watch

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๐Ÿ“บ How to watch Nebraska-Wisconsin TODAY

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin volleyball 2023

Here's how to tune into the Nebraska-Wisconsin match:

  • ย ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ When: Friday, Nov. 24
  • ๐Ÿ“ Where: Madison, Wisconsin | UW Field House
  • โฐ Time: 4ย p.m. ET
  • ย ย TV:ย 
  • ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผย Click here for live stats
3:29 pm, November 24, 2023

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Black Friday clash: What today has in store

Although the Huskers have already won the Big Ten championship, these conference rivals have a lot to duke out today. Both season-long top-5 powerhouses, the Badgers and Huskers fought tooth and nail to settle the AVCA No. 1 debate in October, during which Nebraska emerged victorious in five sets. Nebraskaโ€™s now 27-0 and the unanimous AVCA No. 1 heading into the postseason. Wisconsin lost two matches since facing Nebraska, sitting at 24-3 on the year.

In five-setters

It's easy to see that these foes challenge each other at the highest level. The Badgers have been pushed to five sets on five occasions this season, and against Nebraska on Oct. 21, they tallied the most number of blocks (18) in a five-setter, but the least amount of kills (52) in a five-setter this season. As for Nebraska, itโ€™s been pushed to five sets thrice this season by Purdue, Penn State and Wisconsin. The Huskers played the worst statistically against Wisconsin, killing 69 (71 K vs. Penn State and 74 K vs. Purdue) and blocking seven (9 vs. Penn State and 15.5 vs. Purdue).

Offense versus defense

The top-ranked Wisconsin block will, again, be a problem for Nebraska. The Badgers lead the nation with 3.01 blocks per set (compared to Nebraskaโ€™s 2.5, tying for No. 38), which is primarily at the hands of Carter Booth (149 B) and Caroline Crawford (121 B). During their Oct. 21 bout, Booth and Crawford tallied nine blocks each, which helped extinguish Nebraskaโ€™s momentum in the second and third sets for the Wisconsin advantage.

The Nebraska attack has proven to be absolutely lethal this year. In their last meeting, the Huskers out-killed the Badgers in every set except the third (they tied with 13) and put up nine more points than Wisconsin. The difference will be clean hits โ€” Nebraska erred 44 times to Wisconsinโ€™s 18 to bring its hitting percentage down to .130 compared to UWโ€™s .217. These teams are also ralliers; playing to 15 in the fifth set, Nebraska hit a game-high .545 with 13 K and one error on 22 swings as Wisconsin also hit a game-high .500 with 9 K and no errors.

Now, in the last two weeks, Wisconsin dropped consecutive Big Ten matches to Penn State and Purdue after losing right-side Anna Smrek to injury. With Smrek back in last Sunday, the Badgers returned to their former selves in a 3-0 win over Indiana. Smrek contributed 10 kills on a .667 clip and five blocks in this matchup. So although Wisconsin dropped to No. 5 in the final AVCA poll of 2023, the Badgers will put up a fight against the No. 1 team in the country, as the Huskers will battle to maintain their undefeated season.

9:11 pm, November 20, 2023

๐Ÿค” Tidbits to know about the rivalry

Here are some fast facts about the Wisconsin-Nebraska rivalry, which began in 2011 upon Nebraska's joining the Big Ten.

  • Nebraska won the first six consecutive matchups from 2011-13.
  • Before the teams met in October of 2023, Wisconsin had claimed the last 10 matches โ€” 50% of them were shutouts.
  • In their most recent meeting on Oct. 21, Nebraska won in five sets (25-22, 17-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-13).
    • Nebraska out-killed Wisconsin 69-52, but the Badgers out-blocked the Huskers 18-7.
    • This was the fifth time in their 21-match series history that the teams had gone to five sets.
  • The two teams met in the 2021 national championship โ€” No. 4 Wisconsin beat No. 10 Nebraska in five sets for its first national title.
    • This match also set the then-NCAA volleyball tournament attendance record at 18,755.
  • In the last 10 years ...
    • Nebraska has gone to the national semifinals five times and won two national championships.
    • Wisconsin has gone to the national semifinals four times and won one national championship.
9:47 pm, November 20, 2023

๐Ÿ”„ Recap of their last meeting

Nebraska coach John Cook tipped his red cowboy hat to salute the Huskers' top-2 victory as thousands of fans lingered in the sold-out Devaney Center to celebrate No. 2 Nebraska's 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-13) win against No. 1 Wisconsin on Oct. 21. The win halted the Badgers' streak at 10 in a row in the series.

GET CAUGHT UP: Complete stats from the Nebraska-Wisconsin match

Nebraska took the first set, but the Huskers lost their momentum and dropped the next two โ€” hitting .016 during the second and third set combined. The Huskers continued to play from behind in the fourth, but kept the match in check and forced a fifth set with three consecutive kills by Harper Murray, Andi Jackson and Bekka Allick.

Three final bombs from Harper Murray decided the match. Murray notched a double-double with 14 kills and 15 digs, but was held to a .091 clip on the evening.

Outside hitter Merritt Beason attacked from the front and back line, killing 21 โ€” one off from her career high โ€” on 52 swings and digging up seven.

This match wouldn't be recapped properly without credit given to the Wisconsin block. The Badgers denied balls left and right specifically in the second frame, stuffing 12 โ€” this was double what they blocked the rest of the match (totaled 18 overall), and also double what Nebraska blocked the entire match (7).

With this win, the Huskers remained undefeated and snapped Wisconsin's 18-match win streak. Nebraska took the Badgers' No. 1 spot in the AVCA rankings, which Wisconsin had held since Week 1, and has been the AVCA No. 1 team since.