Big Ten 2023, News.

Nebraska Wisconsin 2210

Nebraska players and coaching staff members celebrate the game-winning point against Wisconsin (Photo: Nebraska)

Nebraska emerged victorious in the most-anticipated National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s volleyball match of the season so far, topping Big Ten rivals Wisconsin in the fifth week of conference play and remaining undefeated.

After the triumph against their rivals, the Cornhuskers sit at the top of the Big Ten standings with 10 wins, followed by Wisconsin (9-1), Penn State (8-2) and Purdue (7-3). Nebraska have now won all their 19 matches in the season.

  • Watch the Big Ten Volleyball matches live on VBTV.

The five-set (25-22, 17-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-13) triumph, which was witnessed by a record attendance of 9,198 people at the Devaney Center on Saturday, marked the first victory of Nebraska over their opponents in six years, ending a ten-match winning streak of Wisconsin in the encounters. The duel featured the teams ranked first (Wisconsin) and second (Nebraska) in the country by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

With 24 points (21 kills, two blocks, one ace), junior opposite Merritt Beason led Nebraska’s scoring efforts in the match. Freshman outside hitter Harper Murray also came up big, with 14 kills and 15 digs.

“We’ve been talking all year about finding a way to win even when things aren’t perfect,” Beason said. “We had 44 attack errors and still did it, so I think that speaks a lot about this team. We always find a way and I think this is one of our biggest strengths. We’re just going to have each other’s backs and figure out a way around it.”

Beason 2210

Beason faces Wisconsin's blockers during the match (Photo: Nebraska)

Before beating Wisconsin on Saturday, Nebraska had swept (25-15, 25-16, 25-21) Northwestern on Wednesday. On the same day, the Badgers overcame Ohio State, also in three sets.

Besides Nebraska, three other teams also went undefeated in the fifth week of conference play. Fourth-placed Purdue were one of them, topping Indiana 3-1 at home on Wednesday and beating Penn State also in four sets on the road on Sunday.

Sixth-placed Minnesota played twice at home and took full advantage of it, sweeping Rutgers on Friday and getting a four-set win over Michigan State on Sunday. Playing on the same days, eighth-placed Illinois got consecutive road wins, beating Maryland 3-2 on Friday and Rutgers also in five sets on Sunday.

The next round of Big Ten matches begins on Wednesday, with two more duels. Between there and the end of the week, matches will be played every day, with one encounter on Thursday, four on Friday, four on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Quick links:
Big Ten Volleyball
Subscribe to Volleyball World's Newsletter