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#6 Nebraska vs #3 Wisconsin: A Midweek Match of Volleyball Dreams Preview & Game Thread

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The Fight for Conference Supremacy

Molly Houser

#6 Nebraska (16-3, B1G 10-0) vs #3 Wisconsin (17-1, B1G 9-1)
When: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 8:00 pm (CT)
Where: The Bob Devaney Center
Video: BTN
Radio: Husker Sports Network - Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (AM 590); Huskers.com; Huskers App

Both teams impressed last weekend. Nebraska beat Purdue in four sets (23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-21). Madi Kubik had 15 kills, Kayla Caffey 14, Lauren Stivrins 14 and Lindsay Krause 13. Lexi Rodriguez had 24 digs and Kenzie Knuckles had 8 digs and 2 aces.

Last weekend Wisconsin beat Ohio State (26-24, 25-22, 18-25, 25-14) and Penn State (25-27, 32-30, 20-25, 25-23, 15-7). Dana Rettke had 24 kills and hit .512 in the five set match against PSU.

These two teams are statically similar except for in three main statistical areas; hitting percentage, digs per set and service ace to error ratio. Wisconsin has the edge in hitting percentage with an average of .305 as a team compare to .245 for Nebraska. The Badgers make fewer errors while hitting and this allows their average to be higher.

Nebraska has the advantage in digs per set and service ace to error ratio. On average, Nebraska digs 16.1 balls per set compare to Wisconsin’s 14.3 digs per set. More digs means you increases the opportunity for your offense to convert and score. More digs also frustrates opponents' hitters and can lead to them making errors as they try to hit different shots.

Ideally, service aces to service errors ratio is 1:1. Coach wants the players to serve hard, flat balls and that means that sometimes those balls hit into the net or go long on the baseline. There are errors on serve when you serve tough to pass balls. Nebraska’s aces to error ratio is 103/128 while Wisconsin’s is 104/148. Clearly Nebraska is closer to the 1:1 ratio goal and therefore gets the advantage from the service line.

Wisconsin manages the serve receive pattern similar to Nebraska. The libero, Lauren Barnes, two defensive specialist, Joslyn Boyer and Civita Giorgia pass along side outside hitter Julia Orzol and sometimes Grace Loberg.

Loberg is the target when she is in the passing formation with only a .897 passing percentage. Orzol can also be a good target as a freshman and one that carries a heavy offensive load. Nebraska will also mix in the some short serves to interfere with Rettke’s hitting approach.

What a volleyball match this is set to be! Come back here to watch and comment with all of us. GBR!!

University of Nebraska (16-3, B1G 10-0)

#1 Nicklin Hames 5’10’’ SR Setter - 3.07 digs per set
#2 Kenzie Knuckles 5’8’’ JR DS - 1.98 digs per set, .962 reception %
#3 Kayla Caffey 6’0’’ SR MB - 2.43 kills per set, 1.09 blocks per set
#4 Anni Evans 5’9’’ SO Setter/Serving Specialist - .72 digs per set
#6 Keonilei Akana 5’9’’ SO DS - 2.11 digs per set, .943 reception %
#7 Rylee Gray 6’4’’ FR MB
#8 Lexi Rodriguez 5’5’’ FR Libero - 4.19 digs per set, .968 reception %
#9 Kennedi Orr 6’0’’ FR Setter
#10 Madi Kubik 6’3’’ JR OH - 3.38 kills per set, .45 blocks per set, .951 reception %
#11 Lexi Sun 6’2’’ SR OH- 2.19 kills per set, .50 blocks per set, .950 reception %
#13 Whitney Lauenstein 6’2’’ FR OH - .98 kills per set, .27 blocks per set
#14 Ally Batenhorst 6’4’’ FR OH - 1.79 kills per set, .28 blocks per set, .938 reception %
#20 Kalynn Meyer 6’3’’ SO MB -1.14 blocks per set
#22 Lindsay Krause 6’4’’ FR OH - 2.52 kills per set, .77 blocks per set, .833 reception %
#25 Callie Schwarzenbach 6’5’’ SR MB - 1.16 kills per set, 1.29 blocks per set
#26 Lauren Stivrins 6’4’’ SR MB - 2.58 kills per set, .77 blocks per set

Wisconsin (17-1, B1G 9-1)

#1 Lauren Barnes 5’6’’ GR Libero - 3.98 digs per set, .30 aces per set
#2 Sydney Hilley 6’0’’ GR Setter - 2.22 digs per set, .17 aces per set
#5 Joslyn Boyer 5’6’’ JR DS - .27 aces per set
#7 Civita Giorgia 5’6’’ GR DS - .26 aces per set
#10 Devyn Robinson 6’2’’ SO MB - 2.37 kills per set
#11 Izzy Ashburn 5’11’’ JR serving specialist - .51 aces per set
#14 Anna Smrek 6’9’’ FR RS - 1.57 kills per set,
#15 Jade Demps 6’2’’ SO MB - 1.95 kills per set
#16 Dana Rettke 6’8’’ GR MB - 3.74 kills per set
#21 Grace Loberg 6’0’’ GR OH - 2.56 kills per set
#22 Julia Orzol 6’0’’ FR OH - 3.48 kills per set, .24 aces per set

Nebraska visits #11 Minnesota on Saturday, October 30th at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minn. First serve is set for 7 pm, and the match will be televised on Big Ten Network and streamed via its digital extension on the FOX Sports app, with Larry Punteney and Audrey Flaugh on the call. John Baylor and Lauren Cook West will also have the radio call on Huskers Radio Network.