Huskers Set for 1 vs. 2 Battle with Wisconsin
The unbeaten No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team will host unbeaten No. 1 Wisconsin on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
• The unbeaten No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team will host unbeaten No. 1 Wisconsin on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
• Saturday’s match will be televised on Big Ten Network and streamed on FoxSports. Larry Punteney and Emily Ehman will be on the call.
• The Huskers Radio Network will broadcast all the action on their radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and on the Huskers app.
• An in-house radio broadcast at the Devaney Center can be heard on 87.7 FM.
• John Baylor is in his 30th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
ABOUT THE HUSKERS
• Nebraska (18-0, 9-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start to a season since beginning the 2008 season with a 20-0 record.
• The Huskers, who led the nation in defense in 2022, have held their opponents this season to a combined .123 hitting percentage, which leads the nation.
• Nebraska has been sharp offensively this season, hitting .297 to rank eighth nationally and second in the Big Ten.
• Two-time All-America junior libero Lexi Rodriguez paces the Husker defense with 3.55 digs per set.
• Junior opposite hitter Merritt Beason, a Florida transfer, contributes a team-leading 3.60 kills per set and 2.05 digs per set. Beason is a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week this season.
• Freshman outside hitter Harper Murray is averaging 3.40 kills per set and 1.89 digs per set with a team-high 18 service aces. Murray has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times this season.
• Junior outside hitter Lindsay Krause adds 2.50 kills per set and has a .366 hitting percentage since the Sept. 29 win at Purdue.
• Sophomore middle blocker Bekka Allick leads the Huskers at the net with 1.39 blocks per set to go with 1.60 kills per set.
• Freshman middle blocker Andi Jackson is off to a strong start as a Husker, averaging 2.19 kills per set on a team-high .415 hitting percentage, which ranks second among Big Ten players and 19th in the nation. Jackson is also contributing 1.15 blocks per set.
• Freshman setter Bergen Reilly is putting up 10.48 assists and 2.45 digs per set. Reilly, who leads all Big Ten players in assists per set, became just the second true freshman setter to be a day one starter under John Cook (Nicklin Hames). Reilly has been named Big Ten Setter of the Week twice this year and leads the conference in assists per set.
• Nebraska is 9-10 all-time against AVCA No. 1 ranked teams. The last time the Huskers beat an AVCA No. 1 ranked team at home was Oct. 28, 2012 against Penn State at the NU Coliseum.
• From Sept. 12-Sept. 29, Nebraska played five straight ranked teams and won all five matches. It was the sixth time in school history Nebraska played five matches in a row against ranked teams but the first time NU won all five.
• The Huskers went undefeated in non-conference play for the first time since 2016 and just the second time since 2008.
SCOUTING REPORT: WISCONSIN
• Wisconsin (18-0, 9-0 Big Ten) has won 27 straight Big Ten matches dating back to 2022. The Badgers have also won 30 sets in a row entering Saturday’s match.
• Wisconsin ranks third nationally in hitting percentage (.315) and fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.143).
• Sarah Franklin leads the Badgers with 3.85 kills per set, while Devyn Robinson adds 2.91 kills per set.
• Carter Booth ranks first in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in blocks per set at 1.45.
• Anna Smrek is hitting a Big Ten-best .418 on the season and puts up 2.66 kills and 1.03 blocks per set.
• Nebraska is 19-13-1 all-time against Wisconsin, but the Badgers have won the last 10 meetings between the two teams. Nebraska and Wisconsin played twice last year with UW winning 3-0 in Madison on Oct. 26 and 3-1 in Lincoln on Nov. 25. The last time Nebraska beat Wisconsin was Sept. 30, 2017, a 3-2 win in Lincoln.
NO. 1 vs. No. 2 History
• Saturday is believed to be the 42nd time No. 1 has played No. 2, including the 33rd time in the regular season. It’s the first 1-2 matchup since Nebraska-Stanford in 2019.
• Saturday will be the 16th time No. 1 has played No. 2 in a conference matchup. It’s the first since Nebraska-Minnesota in 2016.
• The No. 1 team is 28-13 all-time in 1 vs. 2 matchups.
• The last four 1 vs. 2 matchups have all involved Nebraska, including this Saturday’s match.
• Saturday will be the fifth time a 1 vs. 2 matchup has been played in the state of Nebraska.
• The 1 vs. 2 matchup has resulted in a sweep (15 times) more times than it has gone five sets (9 times).
• Current Big Ten teams have been involved in 17 of the 42 all-time 1 vs. 2 matchups (including each of the last 6 times and 11 of the last 14 times).
• Current and future Big Ten teams (including USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon) have been involved in 33 of the 42 all-time 1 vs. 2 matchups (including each of the last 9 times and 22 of the last 23 times).
• This will be the sixth time Nebraska has been involved in a 1 vs. 2 matchup. The Huskers are 2-3 all-time in 1-2 matches.
- Aug. 26, 1995 #1 Stanford 3, #2 Nebraska 1
- Dec. 16, 2006 #1 Nebraska 3, #2 Stanford 1
- Aug. 27, 2016 #1 Nebraska 3, #2 Texas 0
- Nov. 23, 2016 #2 Minnesota 3, #1 Nebraska 2
- Sept. 18, 2019 #2 Stanford 3, #1 Nebraska 1
HUSKERS RANKED NO. 2 IN AVCA COACHES POLL
• Nebraska is ranked second in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 551 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 612 AVCA Coaches Polls it has been eligible for since it was established in 1982. Nebraska is the only program to be ranked in every eligible poll all-time.
• Nebraska’s 612 consecutive weeks of being ranked is the longest active streak in Division I for any sport, leading Connecticut women’s basketball and North Carolina women’s soccer.
• Nebraska has been ranked No. 1 in 102 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
AVCA HALL OF FAMER JOHN COOK IN 24TH SEASON AT NEBRASKA
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 24th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2023. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, 10 final fours, 12 conference championships and 21 top-10 final rankings since 2000.
• Cook has 833 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history. Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .873 win percentage (672-98).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 64 AVCA All-Americans and 20 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only two active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
HUSKER VOLLEYBALL SETS ATTENDANCE RECORDS
• It was a record-breaking night at Memorial Stadium on Aug. 30 when Nebraska hosted Omaha in an outdoor volleyball match. The attendance of 92,003 set a record for the largest crowd to watch a women’s sporting event in the United States. The crowd of more than 92,000 also surpassed what is widely regarded as the world-record attendance for any women’s sporting event.
• The previously recognized world record was 91,648 fans in an UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Wolfsburg on April 22, 2022, at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. The previous record for an American women’s sporting event was 90,185 in USA’s FIFA World Cup Final against China on July 10, 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
• Along with the two records mentioned above, the Huskers shattered a pair of NCAA records, exceeding the previous records for any NCAA volleyball match and an NCAA volleyball regular-season match.
• Entering the match, the largest-ever crowd for any NCAA volleyball match was 18,755 when Nebraska played Wisconsin in the NCAA Final at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 18, 2021. The largest NCAA volleyball regular-season attendance was 16,833 when Wisconsin hosted Florida at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., on Sept 16, 2022.
• The Husker volleyball program has sold out 313 consecutive regular-season matches entering this week. Nebraska’s sellout streak is an NCAA women’s record. The Huskers have led the nation in attendance every season since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013.
• Nine of the top 11 crowds in NCAA volleyball history are matches that have involved the Huskers.
• Of the 16 largest NCAA volleyball regular-season crowds, 14 have been Nebraska matches.
• On Sept. 22, Nebraska broke its Devaney Center attendance record since the arena was reconfigured for volleyball in 2013. A crowd of 8,711 turned out to see the Nebraska-Ohio State match. Over the summer, 402 seats were added to the Devaney Center, increasing the capacity to 8,309.
HUSKERS RACK UP BIG TEN WEEKLY AWARDS
• On Aug. 28, Nebraska freshman outside hitter Harper Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. In her first collegiate matches, Murray led the Huskers to a 3-0 record at the Ameritas Players Challenge. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native averaged 3.67 kills per set with a .343 hitting percentage. She also posted 2.33 digs per set and totaled six blocks, five aces and four set assists. Murray had nine kills on .350 hitting with five blocks and four digs in her collegiate debut against Utah State. She followed with 10 kills on .389 hitting with seven digs and three aces. Murray finished the weekend with 14 kills on .310 hitting with 10 digs for her first collegiate double-double.
• On Sept. 18, Merritt Beason was named Big Ten Player of the Week. Beason led the Huskers to a 3-1 road win at No. 5 Stanford and a 3-1 home win against No. 21 Kentucky with 4.00 kills per set on a .354 hitting percentage to go with 1.88 digs per set. Beason had a season-high 17 kills and 10 digs and hit .438 in the win over Kentucky. The junior from Gardendale, Ala., had 15 kills and hit .273 at Stanford.
• Also on Sept. 18, Murray earned her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor after averaging 3.63 kills per set with a .349 hitting percentage and 2.00 digs per set in Nebraska’s two victories. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native finished with 17 kills and 10 digs and hit .308 in the win over Kentucky. She had 12 kills, six digs, four blocks and three aces while hitting .417 at Stanford.
• On Sept. 25, Bergen Reilly was named the Big Ten Setter of the Week and the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She led the Huskers to sweeps of No. 21 Ohio State and No. 12 Minnesota by averaging 12.67 assists per set, 1.67 digs per set and 0.83 blocks per set. In the 3-0 win against the Buckeyes, Reilly had 37 assists as the Huskers hit .333. Against Minnesota, Reilly showed her defensive prowess, totaling 39 assists with eight digs and four blocks, including a solo stuff.
• On Oct. 2, Beason was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time. Beason led the Huskers to road wins at No. 17 Purdue and Indiana with 4.56 kills per set on a .384 hitting percentage to go with 2.33 digs per set. The junior opposite hitter had 19 kills and hit .368 with nine digs and five blocks in a 3-2 win at No. 17 Purdue. Beason followed up in a 3-1 win at Indiana with a career-high 22 kills and season-high 12 digs while hitting .400.
• Also on Oct. 2, Murray was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time. Murray posted 4.22 kills per set and 1.67 digs per set while hitting .278 in wins at No. 17 Purdue and Indiana. At Purdue, she had a career-high 21 kills with 10 digs and two blocks in a 3-2 win over the Boilermakers. She followed up the next day at Indiana with 17 kills on a .368 hitting percentage to go with five digs.
• Finally on Oct. 2, Reilly earned Big Ten Setter of the Week for the second week in a row. Reilly led the Huskers to wins at No. 17 Purdue and Indiana over the weekend with 11.89 assists per set and 1.89 digs per set with eight kills and a pair of service aces. She guided the Huskers to a combined .323 hitting percentage on the road. In a 3-2 win at No. 17 Purdue, Reilly had a career-high 54 assists with 12 digs and five kills. She followed up on Saturday in a 3-1 win at Indiana with 53 assists, five digs and three kills.
• On Oct. 9, Lindsay Krause earned her first career Big Ten Player of the Week award after sparking the Huskers to a 3-1 win at Michigan State and a 3-0 sweep at Michigan with 3.43 kills per set on a .458 hitting percentage. Krause had a season-high 15 kills and just one error on 27 swings for a .519 hitting percentage at Michigan. One day earlier at Michigan State, Krause posted nine kills with four digs and two aces while hitting .381.
• On Oct. 16, Lexi Rodriguez earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career. Rodriguez led the Huskers to a pair of wins against Michigan State and Penn State by averaging 4.86 digs per set along with 1.57 assists per set. The two-time All-American libero tied her season high with 18 digs in a sweep of No. 13 Penn State on Oct. 14. She had 12 digs alone in the first set. Rodriguez also had four set assists and was perfect on 23 receptions. On Oct. 13 against Michigan State, Rodriguez had 16 digs in a 3-1 win with seven set assists and 10 perfect receptions.