Volleyball sweeps Nebraska, takes Big Ten lead

Nebraska has been a bit of a thorn in the side of Wisconsin Badgers volleyball, but this is 2014 and UW is on a roll. That roll continued on Sunday afternoon in front of a sold out UW Field House crowd, as the Badgers (18-2, 9-1 B1G) swept the Huskers (12-7, 6-4 B1G) in straight sets (25-19, 25-21 and 25-18).

With the win the Badgers improved their winning streak to nine games and also took the lead in the ultra-competitive Big Ten conference.

The win also snapped a 17-match losing streak against the Huskers, one that dated back to Oct. 28, 1978. That’s a 36-year drought if you weren’t counting in your head.

Not only did UW win it’s ninth match in a row, it also has won each of the last 19 sets it has played in.

Of course, star sophomore Lauren Carlini was instrumental in the effort, logging a career high nine kills in the match. She also managed to lead all players on the day with three blocks and 34 assists, while also managing to end the second set with her 25th service ace of the season.

Carlini wasn’t the only Badger to have an impressive day though, as senior Courtney Thomas led all Badgers with 10 kills and hitting .286 for the match.

UW’s offense was impressive, hitting .265 for the game and holding Nebraska to just .143 hitting. The Badgers also outblocked the Huskers 8-6 on the afternoon, and its defense forced 20 errors while committing just 15 of their own in the match.

Things were so dominant for the Badgers that the lead changed just four times through the three sets played and only the second set saw more than two ties in it (6).

UW owns a one game lead in the Big Ten standings over Penn State, Purdue and Illinois. That makes the next set of matches vital for the Badgers’ chances of a Big Ten title — as they face Purdue in their next match on Oct. 29 in West Lafayette, Ind. at 6:30pm with coverage live on BTN.

Wisconsin’s nine-game win streak is about to get a serious test over the next two weeks as the Badgers face four straight road matches. Of course it starts with a trip to Purdue, followed by Indiana next week. It continues with a visit to Michigan and Michigan State the next week too.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com