Sweet 16 primer: Huskers and Wildcats set for rematch of last season’s Elite 8
Nebraska (26-6) vs. Kentucky (26-4), Friday (Time: TBA)
If Nebraska is going to make a fourth consecutive NCAA Final Four, it will have to do so by winning a regional on the road at the home of the No. 2 overall seed, Minnesota.
In Friday’s Sweet 16 round, Nebraska will face No. 10-ranked Kentucky. In the Elite Eight, the winner could play Minnesota. Kentucky beat Purdue 3-0 in the second round.
Nebraska is familiar with each of the teams at the regional, including its first opponent.
Nebraska beat Kentucky in four sets in the Elite Eight last season. This year, the Wildcats won the SEC with an 18-0 record but haven’t played a schedule as difficult as Nebraska did in the Big Ten. Kentucky has a 3-3 record against ranked teams. Nebraska is 7-6 vs. ranked teams.
Nebraska lost both matches against Minnesota this season, each in four sets.
Nebraska libero Kenzie Maloney says there may be some benefit to playing against opponents Nebraska is familiar with.
“Having played them in the past, we can kind of get a better feel of what they’re going to have, and prepare for them better and just have that mindset of we know how they play, so we know what we need to bring to the table in order to beat them,” Maloney said.
— Brent C. Wagner