Dec. 20, 2009
[ONE // a perfect penn state…again]
Congratulations to the Penn State women’s volleyball squad for making history Saturday night by becoming the first team to win three consecutive national titles. The top-ranked Nittany Lions, who were forced to come from behind after dropping the first two games to No. 2 Texas, captured their 102nd consecutive victory with a 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-13) thriller in Tampa, Fla. Megan Hodge, Arielle Wilson and Alisha Glass were all named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team along with Minnesota's Haily Cowles, whose Golden Gophers fell 3-0 to the Longhorns in the national semifinals on Thursday. Penn State advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 victory over Hawaii – a win that marked head coach Russ Rose’s 1,000th of his career.
[TWO // all-america honors]
Seven Big Ten volleyball players were named first-team All-America, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Wednesday. The conference's seven selections make up half the first-team field and more than double the amount of the next-closest conference. Illinois' Laura DeBruler, Michigan's Lexi Zimmerman, Minnesota's Lauren Gibbemeyer and Penn State's Blair Brown, Alisha Glass, Megan Hodge and Arielle Wilson all received honors, with Hodge being the only four-time first-team honoree among this year's award winners. In addition, Indiana's Ashley Benson, Michigan's Juliana Paz and Minnesota's Taylor Carico were named to the third team.
[THREE // hodge named nation’s best]
Penn State senior Megan Hodge was named the Nfinity/AVCA Division I National Player of the Year, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Friday. Hodge is the second consecutive and fifth overall Big Ten player to earn the award. This is Penn State's second consecutive and third overall honor. Nicole Fawcett was selected in 2008 and Lauren Cacciamani was co-Player of the Year in 1999. Hodge recently became only the fifth athlete in the 29-year history of the AVCA All-America program to earn AVCA first-team All-America recognition in all four seasons she wore a Nittany Lion jersey.
[FOUR // nine football standouts named ap all-americans]
Nine Big Ten football players were named to the Associated Press All-America team on Tuesday. Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones was tabbed to the first team, while Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga and linebacker Pat Angerer, Michigan end Brandon Graham and punter Zoltan Mesko, as well as Penn State tackle Jared Odrick were named to the second team. Iowa safety Tyler Sash and Penn State tackle Dennis Landolt and linebacker Navorro Bowman were selected to the third team.
[FIVE // three baseball players named preseason all-america]
Three Big Ten baseball players were named Tuesday to the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pro-Line Athletic Preseason All-America team. Ohio State junior catcher Dan Burkhart was named to the second team after compiling a .354 batting average last year. Joining him on the second team his teammate Alex Wimmers. The sophomore starting pitcher was 9-2 last season with a 3.27 earned run average. Michigan junior outfielder Ryan LaMarre was named to the third team after completing the 2009 season with a .344 average, 12 home runs and 62 runs batted in.
[SIX // big ten baseball tournament staying in columbus]
Speaking of baseball, the Big Ten, Huntington Park and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission announced Tuesday that Columbus, Ohio, will be home to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Big Ten played its first neutral-site tournament since 1994 at Columbus’ Huntington Park in 2009 and will return to the ballpark in 2011 and 2012. Due to a facility conflict, the 2010 tournament will be held at Ohio State’s Bill Davis Stadium. The 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament drew more than 12,000 fans, marking the tournament’s highest total attendance in the past decade. Indiana took home the program’s second tournament title, earning the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
[SEVEN // big ten network set to air new basketball shows]
As the calendar turns to 2010 and Big Ten play heats up on the hardwood, the Big Ten Network announced Monday it will introduce three new basketball shows, The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2010, Big Ten Hoops: On Campus and This Week in Big Ten Basketball. The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2010 debuts at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 10, and runs through Selection Sunday (March 14). Mike Hall will host the hour-long Big Ten Hoops: On Campus show at 10 p.m. ET every Friday, beginning Jan. 8, with contributions from Jim Jackson, the former two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, as well as network newcomers Tiffany Simons and Natalie Kane. This Week in Big Ten Basketball premieres at 9:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 3. Dave Revsine will host the show alongside Jim Jackson and Dan Dakich, former Indiana player and head coach.
[EIGHT // michigan state basketball named si’s team of the decade]
With 2009 coming to a close, Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated took a look back at the highlights and lowlights of the last decade, and named Michigan State the Best School this past week. His article at SI.com notes that teams like North Carolina and Florida deserve to be in the discussion, but when you consider that MSU has been to four Final Fours and every NCAA Tournament in the last decade, they have to get the ultimate nod.
[NINE // from bloomington to badger town and back to bloomington]
A congratulations and welcome back to Bloomington is in store for Todd Yeagley, the Hoosiers’ newest men’s soccer head coach. Indiana Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass announced Friday that Yeagley would be IU's third head men's soccer coach. A four-time All-American and National Player of the Year at Indiana, Yeagley returns to Bloomington after serving as the head soccer coach at Wisconsin. In Madison, Yeagley took the helm of a program that hadn't made the NCAA tournament in 13 seasons and had won just one game in conference play the previous season. The Badgers tied Indiana for fourth place in the conference at 3-3 after finishing in last place (1-4-1) the year prior to Yeagley's arrival.
[TEN // indiana field hockey standout hits the rhodes]
More good news came out of Bloomington this week as Indiana field hockey defender Mutsa Mutembwa was notified on Monday that she was the fourth IU student-athlete in school history to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. A native of Zimbabwe, Mutembwa recently concluded her rigorous interview with Oxford in her hometown of Harare and became the 14th Indiana University student to be named a Rhodes Scholar Select. Mutembwa, a double major in Economics and Mathematics and a senior academically, completed her junior season with the Hoosiers where she helped lead IU to the first round of the NCAA Tournament and to the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
[ELEVEN // taking time to talk expansion]
Finally this week, the Big Ten released a statement on Tuesday regarding the conference’s stance on expansion. The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) discussed the future of the conference at its winter meetings on Dec. 6 in Park Ridge, Ill. Click here to read the complete statement. This Week in the Big Ten will take a week off next Sunday, but will be back to review the basketball conference play and all Big Ten football bowl games. Happy Holidays!