The University of Wisconsin volleyball team heads to Lincoln for a date with No. 1 University of Nebraska Friday night in a chance for either team to take command of the Big Ten.

After being swept by then-No. 2 University of Minnesota last Wednesday in Madison, the Badgers’ upcoming stretch against then-No. 18 University of Michigan and then-No. 2 Nebraska looked grave. But the Badgers did an outstanding job of rebounding to keep their feet on the gas pedal with a huge win over Michigan in Ann Arbor last Saturday.

While the Badgers were taking care of business in the Wolverine state, the red-hot Gophers left Michigan State University with different results, falling to the Spartans in a shocking 3-2 defeat. Now, only a few days after Saturday’s results, the Badgers sit one spot above Minnesota in the Big Ten standings and only a single spot behind the Gophers in the national polls. What a difference a week can make in the country’s most competitive college volleyball conference.

Volleyball: Matchup with Nebraska is Badgers chance to rebound in Big Ten raceEven the University of Minnesota’s squad may have found it hard to believe that last Wednesday’s shocking 3-0 sweep over Read…

The No. 4 Badgers have a tough task awaiting them in Nebraska Friday though — there is a reason the Cornhuskers are No. 1. But elevated levels of competition tend to bring out the best in great players, and that has been the case for UW senior setter Lauren Carlini and her career against Nebraska.

Through her four seasons with Wisconsin, Carlini’s match-high records for kills (9) and points (13) have both come against the Cornhuskers.

The Badgers are riding a two-game winning streak, but Wisconsin is 2-3 against Nebraska in the last five meetings between the schools. Perhaps most intriguing about the recent history between the schools was last year’s result, when Wisconsin pulled off a thrilling upset over then-No. 3 Nebraska 3-1 in Lincoln.

With this recent shift at the top of the conference table, No. 4 Wisconsin has a chance to make a statement against the newest No. 1 team in the country this Friday night. Though this is certainly a charming opportunity, Wisconsin fans should remember that it is just that: a chance.

It’s not as though wins — on the road no less — over top team in the land who also happen to be the defending national champions come easily, but the No. 4 Badgers should make some noise

Friday’s game against No. 1 Nebraska in Lincoln is set for a 8 p.m. first serve, with live coverage airing on BTN.