The Husker Volleyball team will take on the No. 10 seed Kentucky Wildcats Friday at one P.M. in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Wildcats were crowned the 2018 SEC champions, after going undefeated in conference play. Kentucky did have a rough start to the season, going 0-3 in the USC Tournament in Los Angeles, California. However, the Wildcats only lost one more match after that, and are in the midst of a 23 match winning streak.
Like Kentucky, Nebraska has had their struggles, but has found a way to turn things around. In October, Nebraska lost five matches, including a pair of losses to Minnesota. Since then, the Huskers have rattled off 10 wins in a row, with their last defeat coming against Illinois back on October 27th. The Big 10’s schedule can be diabolical for even the best teams, which has ensured that the Huskers will be battle tested according to Nebraska head coach, John Cook.
“Kentucky, since they’ve played Texas in September, they’ve literally played two ranked teams – Missouri and Florida,” Cook said. “We’ve played seven top 10 teams in 10 matches. I think that gives us an advantage going in, that we understand the level that we want to play at.”
Kentucky though, does bear some similarities to other teams in the Big 10, according to Cook. “Their outside hitters are similar to Minnesota’s,” Cook said. “They’re a really good team. They have great stats. They don’t make a lot of errors. That’s why they’re the SEC champs.”
Should Nebraska advance past Kentucky, they will likely have a rematch against their conference foe, Minnesota the following day. The Huskers can’t help but try and look ahead to the Golden Gophers, but Cook is keeping his team focused.
“Monday preparation was preparing for Minnesota and then the rest of the week it’s all Kentucky.”