This Week in the Big Ten

Former Indiana star Christina Loukas was one of three Big Ten divers to earn medal at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix this past week.

May 8, 2011

[ONE // three women's golf teams, one golfer advance to ncaa championships]
Three Big Ten teams and one individual golfer advanced to the NCAA Women's Golf Championships following the conclusion of the regional championships on Saturday. Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue each finished in the top eight of their respective regionals to move on to the championships while Michigan State's Caroline Powers advanced individually.  Minnesota placed third in the East Regional, finishing seven strokes behind the leader with a 33-over 897. Ohio State took sixth in the East, closing the tournament with a 41-over 905. Purdue earned sixth place in the Central Regional with a 15-over 879. Powers tied for sixth individually in the Central, posting a 1-over 217 through 54 holes.  The 2011 NCAA Women's Golf Championships are scheduled for May 18-21 at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. Twenty-four teams and six individuals will compete in the event.  For more information on the Big Ten's play in regional competition, click here.

[TWO // two teams, seven individuals advance to ncaa women's tennis championships]
Michigan and Northwestern will represent the Big Ten at the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships as both teams received top-16 seeds in the national tournament on Tuesday. The 10th-seeded Wolverines earned an at-large bid to the championships, while the 16th-seeded Wildcats received an automatic berth after winning the Big Ten Tournament.  Michigan makes its 13th appearance in the NCAA Championships and its 10th in a row. Northwestern earns its 16th consecutive berth to the national tournament and 22nd overall.  In addition, two Big Ten singles players and three doubles duos were selected to the 2011 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Big Ten Champion Michigan and Big Ten Tournament Champion Northwestern will each send three players to the championships, while Iowa will be represented by a doubles pair.  The Wolverines' Denise Muresan earned the conference's automatic singles bid, picking up the No. 8 seed in the 64-player field. Northwestern's Maria Mosolova also earned a top-16 seed, receiving an at-large berth to the tournament. Muresan and teammate Brooke Bolender earned a top-eight seed in the doubles draw, entering the championships as the conference's automatic bid. Iowa's Sonja Molnar and Jessica Young and Northwestern's Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton join the Wolverine duo in the 32-pair field.

[THREE // five teams, 13 players advance to ncaa men's tennis championships]
Five Big Ten men's tennis teams were selected to the NCAA Championships, the selection committee announced on Tuesday. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State each earned berths to the national tournament, which gets underway on May 13 at campus sites. The Buckeyes received an automatic bid to the championships after winning their sixth consecutive Big Ten Tournament while the other four teams earned at-large bids.  Illinois makes its 16th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships having made the field every year since 1996. Indiana earns its sixth berth to the national tournament and first since 2008. Michigan was selected to its 20th NCAA Championships and sixth in a row. Minnesota receives a berth to the tournament for the 17th time in program history and third consecutive season.  Fourth-seeded Ohio State makes its 11th straight appearance in the championships.  In addition, seven Big Ten singles players and three conference doubles pairs were selected to the NCAA Championships, the selection committee announced on Wednesday. Sixteen automatic qualifiers and 48 at-large selections make up the singles field, while 13 automatic berths and 19 at-large selections comprise the doubles field.  Ohio State's Blaz Rola leads the pack of Big Ten singles players, entering the tournament as the No. 5 seed after earning the conference's automatic berth. Teammate Chase Buchanan and Illinois' Dennis Nevolo also earned top-16 recognition. Joining the three seeded players are Michigan's Jason Jung and Evan King, Ohio State's Matt Allare and Wisconsin's Marek Michalicka.  The Buckeyes will send two doubles tandems to the championships, as Buchanan and Rola earned an automatic berth and Allare and Peter Kobelt picked up an at-large selection. Michigan's Jung and King will also be among the field of 32.

[FOUR // illinois, iowa and purdue take home major postseason awards in men's golf
The Big Ten announced this past Monday its men's golf All-Conference teams and individual award winners with Iowa's Vince India taking home the Big Ten Player of the Year award. Purdue's Adam Schenk was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while conference champion Illinois' head coach Mike Small was tabbed Coach of the Year.  India closed the regular season as the eighth-ranked golfer in the country by Golfstat and the 13th-ranked player in the nation by Golfweek/Sagarin. The Hawkeye senior, who was also honored with the Big Ten's Les Bolstad Award given to the Big Ten player with the lowest stroke average to par, earned top-15 finishes in all nine of the stoke-play tournaments he competed in this season and took medalist honors three times. Schenk earned top-three finishes in three tournaments and took medalist honors twice en route to Freshman of the Year laurels. The newcomer also tied for 10th at the Big Ten Championships to lead the Boilermakers. Small collects his third-straight Coach of the Year award and fourth of his career after leading the Illini to their third consecutive and 10th overall Big Ten title. The conference also announced its All-Big Ten teams and recognized 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees.

[FIVE // get your tickets right here]
Single-game tickets to the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament to be held May 25-28 at Huntington Park, home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, are now on sale, the Big Ten Conference and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission announced this past Tuesday. Single-game tickets are $10 each for adults and $7 each for youth and senior citizens. Single-game VIP tickets, which are seated behind home plate and grant access to the Tansky Club Area, are $15 each. All non-VIP single-game tickets are general admission.  Tickets are available at the Huntington Park box office,, and All-Tournament passes, group tickets, family and team ticket packages to the 2011 Big Ten Baseball Tournament are also available to the public. All-Tournament passes to the event's 11 games cost $100 each. Group tickets (minimum 20) are available for $7 per ticket. The family ticket package is $25 (two adults and up to four children 18 and under). The team ticket package is $60 (admits up to two coaches and ten athletes).

[SIX // watching out for baseball honors]
Three Big Ten baseball standouts were honored this past on watch lists for major national awards.  USA Baseball selected Indiana's Alex Dickerson as one of 60 players placed on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. The Golden Spikes Award is given to the top amateur baseball player in the country.  Northwestern's Paul Snieder and Ohio State's Josh Dezse were named among the 25 players on the watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, the College Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.

[SEVEN // softball stars standing out in the classroom]
Seven Big Ten softball student-athletes were named Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday, including three first-team honorees. Those selected as first-team All-District members will be placed on the national ballot and are eligible for Academic All-America honors, which will be announced later this month.  Indiana's Sara Olson, Northwestern's Robin Thompson and Penn State's Lisa Akamine earned first-team All-District accolades and are eligible for All-America consideration. Earning second- or third-team All-District recognition include Michigan State's Brett Williams, Ohio State's Alicia Herron and Purdue's Shelby Krammer and Molly Garst.

[EIGHT // diving into team usa]
Three former Big Ten divers earned medals and spots on Team USA this past weekend at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Congratulations to former Indiana diver Christina Loukas and teammate Abby Johnston on a gold-medal winning score of 293.40 points in the 3-meter synchro.  Minnesota's Kelci Bryant secured a spot on Team USA for the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China in July by placing third on the 3-meter, while Purdue standout David Boudia and Nick McCrory combined for the bronze medal in synchronized 10-meter.

[NINE // nearly thirty big ten football standouts honored for academic success]
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced this past Wednesday the members of the 2011 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university, achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study and meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation. The Big Ten's 26 honorees are Illinois' Anthony Santella, Indiana's Trea Burgess, Ben Chappell, Jamie Lukaszewski, Jordan Marquette, Tyler Replogle and Jeff Sanders, Iowa's Josh Koeppel, Jeff Tarpinian and Julian Vandervelde, Minnesota's  Adam Weber, Northwestern's Stefan Demos, Aaron Nagel and Josh Rooks, Ohio State's Bryant Browning, Garrett Hummel, Chris Malone, Jake McQuaide, Andrew Miller and Scott Sika, Penn State's Brett Brackett, Chris Colasanti, Kevion Latham and Stefen Wisniewski, Purdue's Kyle Adams and Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien. In addition, future Big Ten member Nebraska was represented by Thomas Grove and Adi Kunalic among the honorees. Chappell, Wisniewski and Tolzien were already honored as members of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete team back in the fall.

[TEN // a head start on head injuries]
The Big Ten Conference, in conjunction with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), served as host for the Big Ten/CIC Head Injury Summit on April 30 and May 1 in Park Ridge, Ill. Representatives from each of the Big Ten institutions participated in the two-day summit in an effort to continue to address the issue of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussions in sports. The list of 42 attendees included individuals across several disciplines, including athletic medicine, neurology, neuropsychology, physics, engineering and biological sciences. The summit provided a forum for institutions to identify the current clinical aspects and research being done in this area, allowing the attendees to garner a sense of ongoing efforts that exist across the Big Ten.

[ELEVEN // a new coach, new ncaa champions]
Finally this week, congratulations and welcome to Kim Landrus, who was hired as head coach of Illinois women's gymnastics this past Friday. Landrus has spent nine years on the Fighting Illini coaching staff, joining the squad as an assistant coach in 2002. After four years as an assistant, she was promoted to associate head coach in 2006 and worked four years under the title before taking over as interim head coach for the 2010-11 season. In her first season as interim head coach, Landrus led Illinois to its highest national ranking in school history, as the Illini wrapped up the year ranked No. 11 following their second-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships.  Also, congratulations to the Ohio State men's volleyball team on earning the NCAA Championship this past weekend with a 3-2 victory over UC Santa Barbara.