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Wisconsin volleyball vs. Kentucky: how to watch, match preview and open thread

The defending national champs are in town and the crowd is going to be in all red and it is gong to be AMAZING!

Tom Lynn

The No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) welcome the No. 8, and defending national champions, Kentucky Wildcats (5-1) to the UW Field House on Friday night for an epic non-conference showdown. Bremen has already previewed everything for you this week (see link below) and you already know to be wearing red today for the Red Out.

Let’s play some damn volleyball!

How to watch/listen

Matchup: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky, 8 p.m. CT

TV: Big Ten Network; Larry Punteney and Salima Rockwell

Streaming: BTN+

Radio/Satellite: U100.9 FM

Live stats: Here!

Arena: UW Field House, Madison, Wis.

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • The Badgers have won 24 straight home matches, dating back to Sept. 19, 2019, when UW fell to Washington, 3-0. The school record is 25 straight matches won from 1999-2001.
  • Kelly Sheffield and UK coach Craig Skinner have a connection back to Muncie, Ind. as the co-coached a junior varsity team growing up.
  • Friday night will be the sixth all-time meeting between UK and UW, with Kentucky leading the series, 4-2.
  • UW is 4-0 to start the season, marking the fourth time in the last five years that the Badgers have opened the season with at least four wins. In 2020, Wisconsin went 16-0 before falling to Texas in the national semifinals.
  • The Badgers lead the nation in hitting percentage at .363, hitting better than .325 in all four matches this season.
  • Dana Rettke leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally with a .544 hitting percentage.
  • Danielle Hart ranks second in the Big Ten fifth nationally at .527.
  • Wisconsin has given up only three service aces this season, outscoring opponents 25-3 from the service line. The Badgers lead the Big Ten, allowing only 0.23 service aces per set while ranking third with 1.92 aces per set.
  • Iowa transfer Joslyn Boyer leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 0.54 service aces per set.
  • Rettke has 596 blocks in her career and will become only the fourth Badger to record 600 blocks in a career. The Wisconsin record for career blocks is 682 set by Heather Dodaro from 1994-97. Only 15 Big Ten athletes have hit the 600-block mark in their careers.
  • Here are some stats for the Wildcats: Sophomore Madi Skinner leads the team with 3.67 kills per set, followed by senior Alli Stumler with 3.39. Azhani Tealer, a junior middle blocker, has a team-best 1.56 blocks per set while sophomore Riah Walker leads the Wildcats with 4.06 digs per set.